The set for the Sam Mendes movie being filmed in Margate this Spring is being uncovered.
The site known as ‘Godden’s Gap’ has been transformed with the temporary build of an Art Deco style cinema for love story Lumiere ( Empire of Light).
The film, which is the first solo screenplay written by Mendes, will be set in and around a beautiful old cinema on the South Coast of England in the 1980s. It will star award-winning The Crown actress Olivia Colman and Micheal Ward, of Top Boy fame, as well as Colin Firth, Toby Jones, Tanya Moodie and Crystal Clarke.
The 20,000ft set contains a replica of Dreamland’s old cinema, including the staircase and chandeliers.
The neon Dreamland sign on the fin of the Grade II* listed cinema is also being removed temporarily and replaced with Empire Cinema signs.
The set and alterations will be in place until June.
There have also been lamps and festoon lights fitted along the seafront and there will be a road closure of Marine Terrace for filming on Friday, March 4 from 9.30pm until 4am on March 5.
Mr Mendes is known for works including James Bond films Skyfall and Spectre and the war film 1917 as well as numerous West End stage shows. He will direct and produce the new film with Pippa Harris of Neal Street.
Cinematographer Roger Deakins, who won an Oscar for best cinematography at the Academy Awards for his work on 1917, is also involved.
The filming industry is a valuable source of income for Thanet. In 2020/21 Thanet council estimates the value was in excess of £770,000.