East London - Buildings that have been used in Films & TV

East London has a different character from the central and west side of the capital, with lower rise buildings and a more sprawling feel to the urban environment. Though much damaged from bombing the Second World War, East London still has many older neighbourhoods which are superb places for period locations. A prime example of this is Wilton's Music Hall, just off Cable Street in Tower Hamlets, which was once an alehouse and a theatre. The grade II listed status of the structure means that it has retained much of its original East End charm. Now used as an independent arts and performance centre, Wilton's Music Hall has been chosen many times by location directors. It appears in Chaplin, the 1992 biopic directed by Richard Attenborough, for example. It also features in Death Defying Acts, of 2006, Interview with a Vampire, of 1994, and the Krays, of 1990, when it was used for a nightclub scene.

Further north, on Cambridge Heath Road, is Bethnal Green Town Hall which remains is use as a hotel, despite opening as an art deco public building in the first half of the twentieth century. It has a sumptuous mayoral office and a green and white marble-lined staircase, making it ideal for period shots. It was used in the gangster movie Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrells in 1998 as well as the Parole Officer, a comedy from 2001. In 2007, the former town hall featured in Atonement and it also doubled as a police station, in 1999, in the Criminal.

The East of London is not all about its historic buildings, however. The area around Canary Wharf, with its office blocks and skyscrapers made from steel and glass, has been used by location directors seeking an entirely modern look. The remarkably modern Underground station was used for a scene in 28 Days Later in 2002, for example. It also features in Love, Actually, a comedy from the following year. Number One Canada Square, the tallest skyscraper in the district, is used as a location in Welcome to the Punch, of 2013, and also in Johnny English, from 2003.

In Hackney, the Empire Theatre, which is still used as a theatrical space since it first opened as a Music Hall in 1901, is also a favoured site for location filming. The 1275-seater auditorium featured in Captain America: the First Avenger for some theatre scenes in 2011. It also served as a fictitious theatre in Without a Clue, from 1988.