London’s historical Leadenhall Market, one of the oldest markets in the city, is awash with neon signs from notable movie sets.
Walthamstow’s iconic Gods Own Junkyard has mounted a friendly takeover of the Victorian market with a number of illuminated installations as part of a brand new, immersive art exhibition. Highlights of the exhibition, called Electric City, include actual signs from movies such as Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut, Batman, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and many others.
Of course, Leadenhall Market is already a pretty marvellous spectacle, what with its gorgeous wrought iron structure, cobbled walkways, and Grade II* listed status. But it’s now a whole lot jazzier with the joyful addition of Electric City. For two months, from May 26 until July 31, you see the building to come alive with colour—and probably your Instagram feeds, too.
The City of London spot is the ideal host for a movie-themed exhibit, having been used as a filming location itself on various occasions. In fact, you may recognise it from the likes of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Tomb Raider or Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.
Gods Own Junkyard’s Walthamstow space will remain open throughout this time, thanks to its expansive archive of neon and vintage signs — it may just be missing a few of its film-centric pieces.
Founder of the north east London wonderland Chris Bracey was no stranger to the film world, having worked on movie sets for over 40 years. But when he sadly passed away in 2014, his family—who are all neon makers and designers—took the reins of the business. His wife Linda said of his time working on Eyes Wide Shut: “It was a dream-come-true for Chris to be involved in this project, he was such a fan of Kubrick’s work.” Chris was called in to transform Pinewood Studios into New York’s Greenwich Village, and it was the highlight of his career to recreate the space sign-by-sign.
As well as the original props from this film and others, visitors will be able to see stills of the films with the pieces in-situ, all displayed in the windows of Leadenhall Market’s shopfronts.
Electric City runs from Wednesday May 26 until Saturday July 31. Entry is free and you’ll find it at Leadenhall Market on Gracechurch Street, EC3V 1LT.
Also published on Medium.