Q&A following David Staples’s presentation of Opera houses, concert halls and theatres from 1950 to 2020. Cold and warm concert halls, more on exteriors and interiors, and amplification.

In 1874, the fine mid-Victorian villa North Bank on Pages Lane, in Muswell Hill, went up for sale. The detailed auction plan and schedule give many insights into the lifestyle of wealthy families and their live-in staff in North London. Using this as a starting point, the story of the house and the people who lived there is explored with extra clues from sources such as newspaper cuttings and census records. For the last 20 years, Gill Simpson has been involved in community activities in North Bank – now part of the premises of Muswell Hill Methodist Church – and has been a unique research into the history of Muswell Hill.

The Muswell Hill Methodist Church has a fantastic archive of more than 40 videos from the 1930s to the 1970s on the MHMC YouTube channel.

In the 1890s, Muswell Hill had the most advanced film studio in the world.  Set up by British motion picture pioneers Robert W. Paul in a field in Sydney Road, the studio produced hundreds of films, some in expensive hand-painted colour. Ian Christie is Professor of History at Birkbeck College and has previously held roles as Professor of Film Studies at the University of Kent and Visiting Lecturer in Film at Oxford University.  In 2019 Ian Christie curated an exhibition of Paul’s life and work at Bruce Castle Museum, Animatograph! How Cinema was born in Haringey, to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Paul’s birth.

Paul made about 800 films in his career, of which roughly 75 survive. You can see more by Ian Christie on his website on Paul at https://paulsanimatographworks.wordpress.com/.