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Barrandov Studios

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Barrandov Studios
TypeSubsidiary of Moravia Steel
IndustryMotion pictures
Revenue548,981,000 Czech koruna (2019) Edit this on Wikidata
112,232,000 Czech koruna (2019) Edit this on Wikidata
88,753,000 Czech koruna (2019) Edit this on Wikidata
Total assets1,129,199,000 Czech koruna (2019) Edit this on Wikidata
Number of employees
147 (2019) Edit this on Wikidata

Barrandov Studios is a set of film studios in Prague, Czech Republic. It is the largest film studio in the country and one of the largest in Europe.

Several major Hollywood productions have been made here, including Mission Impossible, The Bourne Identity, Casino Royale, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, The Zookeeper's Wife, and others.


The Barrande sign on Barrandov Rocks
The Barrande sign on Barrandov Rocks
Barrandov Fundus – costumes
Barrandov Fundus – costumes

Czech film history is closely connected with that of Prague's entrepreneurial Havel family, and especially with the activities of the brothers Miloš Havel (1899–1968) and Václav Maria Havel (1897–1979) (Václav was the father of the Czech President of the same name).

In 1921, Miloš Havel created the A-B Joint Stock Company by merging his own American Film distribution company with the Biografia film distributors. At first, A-B studios were located in the garden of a Vinohrady brewery. However, with the emerging sound film, new modern stages equipped for sound recording had to be built. At the beginning of the 1930s, Miloš's brother Václav planned to build a luxurious residential complex on a hill on what were then the outskirts of Prague. Miloš Havel had suggested that he include a modern film studio in the development. The area was to be called Barrandov after Joachim Barrande, the French geologist who had worked at the fossil-rich site in the 19th century. Still to this day, the Barrandov Rock displays a plaque with Barrande's name.

Construction of the studio, based on designs by Max Urban, began on 28 November 1931 and was completed in 1933.[1] Fourteen months later, Barrandov's first Czech film, Murder on Ostrovni Street, was shot there. The volume of films shot at the studio increased rapidly. Barrandov had three hundred permanent employees, was making up to eighty films a year, and had begun to attract foreign producers. It was the best-equipped studio in Central Europe and in the early years, foreign production companies such as UFA, MGM, and Paramount developed their own distribution systems in Czechoslovakia because of it.[2]

During the occupation of Czechoslovakia by Nazi Germany during World War II (1940–1945), major additions were made to the studio's facilities. Seeking to make Barrandov an equal to the major film studios in Berlin and Munich, the Nazis drew up plans for three large interconnecting stages. Construction work started in 1941 but the final stage was not completed until early 1945. These three huge stages (with more than 37,000 square feet (3,400 m2) of shooting space) still form the main attraction of the studios to filmmakers throughout the world.

Shortly after the war, Barrandov and its smaller sister, Hostivař Studios, were nationalized and remained under state ownership until the beginning of the 1990s. During this time, Barrandov's new film laboratories were constructed, as was a special effects stage with a back projection tunnel and a water tank equipped for underwater shooting.

New wave

In the 1960s, a new wave of Czech films attracted worldwide attention. Czech film directors working at Barrandov at this time included Miloš Forman, Jiří Menzel, Vojtěch Jasný, Pavel Juráček, Věra Chytilová, Jan Němec, Ivan Passer, František Vláčil, Elmar Klos, and Ján Kadár.

Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Barrandov continued to produce feature films, particularly comedies and fairy tales, turning out an average of seventy pictures a year. In the 1980s, some major American productions were made in the studios, including Barbra Streisand's Yentl and Miloš Forman's Amadeus, winner of several Academy Awards.


Barrandov Studios in August 2019. Apparent expansion of activity to the western parts of the land. Total area: 487,397 m² / acreage: 120.44 ac
Barrandov Studios in August 2019. Apparent expansion of activity to the western parts of the land. Total area: 487,397 m² / acreage: 120.44 ac

Shortly after the Velvet Revolution in 1989, Barrandov was privatized. The studio almost closed down in 2000. However, the decline in local films was balanced out by an increase in foreign productions, particularly feature films made by US producers. Czech television stations and producers of commercials for television also made extensive use of the facility. Barrandov Studios now provides complete production services for feature film producers and for the increasing volume of local audio-visual productions.

On December 2006, Barrandov Studios opened a massive new soundstage aimed at attracting bigger productions. According to studio representatives, in terms of size, the new facility is now the largest in Europe, at 4,000 square metres.

Barrandov Studios are owned by investment company Moravia Steel.

Notable productions









See also


  1. ^ Bawden, Liz-Anne, ed. (1976) The Oxford Companion to Film. London: Oxford University Press; p. 55
  2. ^ Bawden, Liz-Anne, ed. (1976) The Oxford Companion to Film. London: Oxford University Press; p. 55

External links

This page was last edited on 18 December 2021, at 00:08
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