Filming and road closures for Empire of Light movie head into final month

Olivia Colman on set Photo Roberto Fabiani

Photos by Roberto Fabiani

The Sam Mendes production starring Olivia Colman, Micheal Ward and Colin Firth has been shot on location around the town since the end of February.

The 1980s-set love story also stars Toby Jones, Tanya Moodie and Crystal Clarke.

Sites used include Margate’s main seafront road, the Old Town, Cliftonville, Darcy’s Café and also the Manston airport site.

Dreamland’s neon sign on the fin of the Grade II* listed cinema has been replaced with Empire Cinema signs and the 20,000ft set at Godden’s Gap contains a replica of Dreamland’s old cinema, including the staircase and chandeliers, with a ticket booth outside.

The production has included firework displays, a Chariots of Fire film ‘premiere,’ vintage cars, fake snow and rain and a temporary makeover to Dreamland Cinema to rename it the Empire.

Director 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 has written Empire of Light, making it his first original solo screenplay. He will direct and produce 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.

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The filming has meant road closures which has caused some queueing and congestion.

April closures remaining

Wednesday 27th April Marine Terrace From 0930 – 1430
Thursday 28th April Marine Terrace From 0930 – 1430
Friday 29th April Marine Terrace From 0930 – 1430

The road closures scheduled for May are:

05-May CLIFF TERRACE 11:00 -17:00
  Closure Athelstan 11:00-17:00
06-May CLOSURE KING STREET  08:00 – 02:30  
  CLOSURE CLIFF TERRACE  20:30 – 05:30
 Marine Terrace 12-17:30
 THE PARADE and Fort Road 13:00-00.00
09-May Closure  Fort Paragon 08:00 – 19:00
10-May Victoria Parade 07:00-20:00
16-May Closure on MARINE DRIVE 07:00-16:00
   on MARINE TERRACE – Roundabout to Roundabout 07:00-21:00
  19:30 – 00:00
17th May CLOSURE on MARINE TERRACE 09:30 – 14:30 
 Marine Terrace 07:00-20:00
 MARINE DRIVE 07:00-20:00
18th May CLOSURE on MARINE TERRACE / Station Roundabout 09:30 – 14:30
   Marine Terrace/ Station RB 08:00-22:00
19th may CLOSURE on MARINE TERRACE  09:30 – 14:30
   Marine Terrace 08:00-20:00
20th May Closure Marine Terrace 09:30 – 14:30
   Marine Terrace 10:00-01:00
23rd – 27th May Closure MARINE TERRACE 09:30 – 14:30
 Marine Terrace 07:00-20:00