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Muswell Hill

R.W. Paul built Muswell Hill in the spring of 1898 because of the enormous demand for films for his theatrograph projector. This was the first actual film studio to be opened in the UK.

Paul employed associate Walter Booth, a magician at heart, and built a single stage studio with all the magician trap doors and expressly designed for trick photography. The first summer, Paul produced over 80 short films. Booth produced many trick films and introduced drawings into some of his films and even basic animation. Booth remained with Paul until 1906 when he joined the Charles Urban Trading Company.

Paul also employed George H. Cricks, who left to start his own studio of Cricks and Sharp in 1901, and J. H. Martin, who went into partnership with Cricks in 1908 and in 1910 formed Croydon Studio.

Paul also paid 5 shillings a day to Johnny Butt, Britain's first professional film actor. Butt appeared in more than 70 films and starred in 2 comedy series for Hepworth, Simpkins (1914) and Tubby (1916).

Paul became disgruntled with the changes in the industry when distributors started renting films instead of direct purchases and lost interest in the film industry.

In 1910, Paul closed Muswell Hill and went back to his engineering and electrical firm.

Here's the films in our database for Muswell Hill

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