Our Story

Our Story

In 1933, a former iron works on Crisp Road in Hammersmith was converted into a film studio that produced classic films such as The Seventh Veil (1945) with James Mason, The Happiest Days of Your Life (1950) with Margaret Rutherford, and Father Brown (1954) with Alec Guinness.

After the studio was acquired by BBC Television in 1954, it became home to some of their most iconic programmes, including Hancock's Half Hour (1957–60), Quatermass and the Pit (1958–59) and Doctor Who (1964–1968). 

In 1975, an independent trust was formed to administer the building for use as a local community arts centre, Riverside Studios. The venue became fully operational in January 1978 with Artistic Director Peter Gill's landmark production of The Cherry Orchard. Riverside Studios quickly acquired an international reputation for excellence and innovation. 

For over 40 years, Riverside Studios has brought the world to West London with a programme of theatre, dance, television, comedy and music. Some of the unforgettable figures who have appeared at Riverside include Samuel Beckett, Helen Mirren, Tadeusz Kantor, Yoko Ono, David Bowie, Amy Winehouse, Ant and Dec, Benjamin Zephaniah, Robert Lepage, Allen Ginsberg, Margaret Atwood, Lenny Henry and Michael Clark.

The story of Riverside Studios is truly unique and, thanks to support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF), we’re delighted to be able to share it with you in fresh and exciting ways.

Join us in exploring the people and events that have helped shape this wonderful, creative space and become part of the story yourself.

From Left to Right: Paul Jones, Peter Bowles, Anna Massey, Alan Bates, Leigh Lawson, Elizabeth Estensen, Hayley Mills, Judy Parfitt, Peter Gill, Brian Cox, Eleanor Bron, Phillip Joseph, Emma Piper, Martin Shaw, Tony Steedman   Samuel Beckett leaves
rehearsals at Riverside, 1984.
Photo credit: John Minihan/
University College Cork