An Underground Film Club in the heart of London

posted in: London, News | 23

Underground film clubLondon has a famous underground train system, known worldwide as “the Tube.” It dates back well over a hundred years to 1863 when the world’s first underground railway, the Metropolitan, opened between Paddington and Farringdon and it now boasts 270 stations (there’s a quiz question if ever I’ve heard one) and 11 lines.

But while there are many thriving stations across the capital, there are around 40 which are no longer used – the so-called “ghost stations”. Some of these were closed due to low passenger numbers, others because lines changed their routes. Some also have fascinating histories (Aldwych station, on The Strand, which has been seen on screen in films such as 28 Weeks Later, was used to house the National Gallery’s collection during World War I and the Elgin Marbles, among other artefacts, during World War II).

One of the most recent ghost stations is more of a ghost concourse! Charing Cross, not far from Aldwych, still functions as an overground station and also as part of the Northern and Bakerloo Lines. It was also, for many years, the final stop on the Jubilee Line, but that ended in 1999 when the line was extended and trains began to bypass Charing Cross, going from Green Park to Westminster. In other words, the Jubilee Line platforms were no longer used – or needed (except for filming – it’s where the James Bond film Skyfall was shot, even though that was supposed to be at Temple tube station…)

Until now film fans! Because a unique festival is to be held right on the platform and concourse, with screenings of a number of films at the end of this month. The screenings begin on May 27th with Strangers on a Train (the perfect choice) and include Paddington, Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Birdman. But be quick – they’re going fast…

There are 100 tickets on offer for each screening, with prices at £14 for adults and £7 for children. There’s even going to be hot dogs on sale beforehand (you won’t get told off for eating at the station this time). You can find out more at Underground Film Club’s website.

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23 Responses

  1. Tim

    That is very cool. I never knew there were ghost stations and just assumed all stations were in use. That explains how the station used in V for Vendetta got used…unless of course that was all in a studio. Thanks for this post, very interesting.

  2. Christine

    I saw the films advertised a couple of weeks ago and would love to see one of them (except we’re on holiday for half the time). I’ve always been fascinated by underground London!

  3. Sarah Bailey

    Oh wow this sounds so cool – it would be amazing popping to have a look and see what it is like after it was closed down as well as of course seeing the films. x

  4. Trish - Mum's Gone to

    Sounds a brilliant idea – I love the fact that they are making use of the ghost stations. I’d like to see Brief Encounter at a station – I wonder if that’s on their list for the future?

  5. Astrid

    These little factoids about the London underground system are so fascinating. I bet watching a film screening on the platform is great too.

  6. julie

    This is such a great post! I never knew there were ‘ghost stations’ but I guess it does make sense. The undergound although scares me at times, does fascinate me as it’s always so buzzing!

    • Sarah Ebner

      I love it – but I’ve used it all my life and do so every day when I go to work (I love it less when it’s packed!). I’d really love to explore the ghost stations though

  7. Elaine J. Masters

    What a find! I love finding these kinds of retrofits in urban areas. In San Diego Marriott hotels opened a hotel in a vintage bank. Guests can dine inside the old vault, have a drink in the tellers station! Next time in London I’ll definitely explore what’s going on in the ghost stations.

  8. domesstique

    How interesting and fascinating post. I didn’t know about the ghost station, this is something new for me.

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