British Movietonews – the end of an era

October 28, 2011

in Historical interest


As of 4th November 2011, British Movietonews is closing its doors in Denham, Uxbridge after over eighty years of making film newsreel and news footage archiving.

For those of us too young to remember, British Movietonews produced and distributed newsreels.  These newsreels were shown in cinemas across the country from 1929 and until television became a feature in most households; were the only way the general public could see moving pictures of what was happening in the world.  This becomes strikingly more poignant when you think of how many millions of people in picture houses all over the UK would have used newsreels as a way of seeing what was happening in the war effort during WWII.

The last movie newsreel was shown in 1979 but British Movietonews continued to collate, archive and distribute news footage .  They were a great source of historical research and have supplied clips for use in movies, documentaries and education aids around the globe.

100′s of miles of film (now digitised), 1000′s of hours of news footage – all recording major events throughout the 20th Century.  A reel (!) part of our national heritage.

Our best wishes go to Barry in his retirement and to the loyal staff at British Movietonews.

Just some of the global events covered by British Movietonews…D-DAY - 6th June 1944, France    JFK ASSASSINATION – 22nd November 1963, Dallas    CHARLES & DIANA WEDDING – 29th July 1981, London    PEARL HARBOR - 7th December 1941, Honolulu    CORONATION OF QUEEN ELIZABETH – 2nd June 1953, London    LIBERATION OF PARIS - 25th August 1944, Paris    TET OFFENSIVE - 30th January 1968, Saigon    HINDENBERG – 6th May, 1937, New Jersey    HUNGARIAN REVOLUTION - 26th October 1956, Budapest    INCHON LANDINGS - 16th September 1950, Korea    HITLER INVADES POLAND - 1st September 1939, Poland    SAN FRANCISCO EARTHQUAKE - 19th April 1906 San Francisco    CUBAN REVOLUTION – 2nd January 1959, Havana    DEATH OF STALIN – 5th March 1953, Moscow    FORMATION OF ISRAEL - 14th May 1948, Jerusalem    NASSER SEIZES SUEZ CANAL – 26th July 1956, Egypt    SURRENDER OF JAPAN – 14th August 1945, Tokyo    NUREMBERG TRIALS BEGIN - 29th August 1945, Germany    WORLD CUP FINAL – 30th July 1966, London    PRAGUE UPRISINGS…RUSSIANS ENTER – 22nd August 1968, Prague     WRIGHT BROTHERS – 17th December 1903, Kitty Hawk     WALL STREET CRASH – 24th October 1929, New York     EVA PERON DIES – 26th July 1952, Buenos Aires     MARILYN MONROE FOUND DEAD – 5th August 1962, Los Angeles    EVEREST CONQUERED – 1st June 1953, Nepal


The first British Movietonews newsreel


Xcaliba has been working with British Movietonews since we started-up back in 2001 and Martyn has been working with Barry Florin, Managing Director at British Movietonews, for the past 20 years.  Barry has had a long and distinguished career in movie production and distribution, working all over the world before taking over the reins at British Movietonews back in the late 80’s.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Stephen Sloane November 11, 2011 at 8:49 pm

I’ve known Barry since the late 1960′s and can attest to his expertise and commitment to the industry


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