The Guildhall opened their lesser-known doors to Reelscape Community’s Movie Hub with a group of students from The Arbours Primary Academy to explore the cells beneath street level, and assess whether they would make a good film location.
The Guildhall is Northampton’s town hall, located in St Giles’ Square near to the ‘Cultural Quarter’. It is a historic site that dates back to the 19th Century and was built to replace the old town hall that became too small fro the growing town, however today it is used by the Borough Council and as wedding destination. The guide who showed the group around also explained that the Guildhall has already been used as a location for two films.
The Movie Hub team proceeded to judge the pros and cons of filming in the old cells. Initially, the team noted some drawbacks to it being a film set due to the distinct lack of light and power sources, as well as minimal headroom with low ceilings and narrow corridors.
But The Guildhall would lend itself to a variety of genres; the neo-gothic architecture would provide an instantly interesting and castle-like backdrop to any historic or fantasy film, while The Great Hall and Courtroom create a feeling of grandeur that could be the set of any period piece, and the cells beneath create a dark and eerie atmosphere that could be incorporated into a crime or horror film – especially as they are rumoured to be haunted by former inmates.
Overall, the group decided that The Guildhall would be a suitable film location and are adding it to the Northampton Film Location Database. Watch this space for the new website