Blattner Close, Elstree, Herts.

Road in/near Elstree, existing between 1996 and now

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Road · Elstree · WD6 ·

Blattner Close was named after Ludwig (Louis) Blattner, cinema pioneer, when built in the late 1990s.

Ludwig Blattner was a pioneer of early magnetic sound recording, licensing a design from German inventor Dr Kurt Stille, enhancing it to use steel tape instead of wire, thereby creating an early form of tape recorder. The BBC saw a potential to record and timeshift BBC radio programmes and rented several Blattnerphones from 1930 onwards, one of which was used to record a speech by King George V. In 1939, the BBC used a Blattnerphone to record Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s announcement to Britain of the outbreak of World War II.

Prior to the First World War, Ludwig Blattner managed the ’La Scala’ cinema in Wallasey from 1912 to 1914 and conducted the cinema’s orchestra.

In early 1928, Blattner was planning a 400-acre ’Hollywood, England’ estate complete with a hotel, hospital, aeroplane club and the largest collection of studios in the world. Blattner then formed the Ludwig Blattner Picture Corporation in Borehamwood in the studio complex that is now known as Elstree Studios. The best known films produced by his film company were A Knight in London (1929) and My Lucky Star (1933), which was co-directed by Blattner.

Business problems with the studio, due to the advent of rival talking picture systems, led to heavy financial loss, and in 1934 Joe Rock leased Elstree Studios from Blattner.

In 1935, Ludwig Blattner committed suicide after booking into a room at the Edgwarebury Hotel (Elstree Country Club).

He had two British-born children, Gerry Blattner and Betty Blattner. They both followed their father into the film business, Gerry as a producer and Betty as a makeup artist.

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Elstree is a village in the southermost area of Hertfordshire situated on Watling Street.

Though since boundary changes fully in Hertfordshire, until the 1990s it was half in Hertfordshire and half in Middlesex (now Greater London).

It is most famous for giving its name to the Elstree Film Studios in nearby Borehamwood where a number of famous British films were made.

Elstree has an airfield, with a paved runway, suitable for light aircraft use. The nearest railway station is Elstree & Borehamwood.

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