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Sets of the film The Shining built in the late 70’s on the Stages of the Elstree Studios.

This site contains renderings of different sets from the film the Shining.
Like the Lobby, Colorado lounge and the Gold room.
The sets were constructed in
SketchUp.
The renderings were made in V-Ray and a few old ones were made in Kerkythea

Also check out the YouTube channel

Deltabuilder YouTube

ELSTREE STUDIOS 1979

The sets for the film The Shining were built at Elstree Studios in Borehamwood England. In 1978.
Director Stanley Kubrick used almost all stages on the site. And not only soundstages but also workshops and offices have been used.
I tried to find out where all sets were built.
There are still some contradictory things on the internet were the sets were build but there is no doubt about most locations.
I’ve had a lot of help from the interviews in “Staircases to Nowhere – Making Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining” with Christiane Kubrick, Jan Harlan, Ron Punter, Doug Milsome, Julian Senior and many others.

Also got help from Gordon Stainforth on the location of the different sets, thank you so much!
Vivian Kubrick‘s documentary of the Shining has also been invaluable and is still a reference, because it contains set locations that are not completely visible in the film.

Two years ago I came across the documentary by Japanese filmmaker Jun’ichi Yaoi. Thanks to this documentary I was able to reconstruct several places of the Elstree Studios.
The grounds of the Elstree Studios in Borehamwood have shrunk significantly since the 1980s. Tesco now stands on a large piece of land. The story goes that during the preparation of the site intended for Tesco, large quantities of polystyrene were found. A remnant of the ‘snowy’ exterior of the Overlook Hotel. Link

How many sets are there?

Apart from the footage at the Timberline Lodge at Mount Hood in Oregon, which was shot by the 2nd unit team led by Jan Harlan, all recordings on all sets were made in Elstree Studios, England.

DENVER STAPLETON AIRPORT ARRIVAL HALL

Hallorann at Stansted Airport
Hallorann at Stansted Airport


Stansted Airport

Stansted Airport
Stansted Airport

Stansted Airport in Essex was used for the terminal building interior of Denver Stapleton Airport to film the scene where Hallorann calls Durkin.

The current terminal building is on the south side of the runway, and was opened in 1991. The building shown in the film, the former terminal on the north perimeter, is now used by Harrods Aviation. (thanks to Steven Kelly for the info)

During Dick Hallorann’s telephone conversation, a hilarious scene can be seen in the background of someone who probably cannot find his passport.

LOBBY

interview
Jack enters the Lobby for his interview.

The first set in the Shining is the Lobby set with Ullmans office and the Gray and Green Corridor.
This is a complete set linked together and is built on Stage 4. (demolished in 1989)

Stage 5

source: the avengerland site

Living room, kitchen, hallway, bathroom and Danny’s bedroom.
Could this have been at the same time as the Gold Room set? Although I can’t imagine it, the Gold Room was also built here.

I don’t know if the sets existed at the same time. Because, according to Garrett Brown, the film was recorded chronologically, this would mean that the Boulder recordings had to be ready first, and then build the Gold Room.
Maybe Garrett Brown knows how this was built …

Stage 3

The Colorado Lounge is the most impressive set. The five tall stained glass windows and the ceiling beams designed by Jeanette Dryer Spencer.
And of course the huge fireplace.
The famous hexagonal pattern floor covering on the first floor. With room 237 and a staircase leading to the service hall below. The Colorado Lounge was built on stage 3 and on the night of January 24 1979, the stage burned down.

Stage 5

As mentioned above, Stage 5 has been used for both the Gold Room and the Boulder set.
I’ve been trying to calculate Stage 5 dimensions from aerial photos compared to existing buildings. Stage 5 was probably 137 x 115 feet.

Using aerial photos and the front photo of the avengerland site, I was able to calculate the ridge height.
It is about 49 to 50 feet high.

MAZE (daylight)

former MGM Borehamwood backlot


The non-snowy maze featuring scenes with Wendy and Danny in daylight was built on the former MGM Borehamwood backlot, as there was no room on the backlot at EMI Elstree Studios after the Overlook Hotel and maze exterior was built there. (source: the studiotour.com)
At the disused Radlett Aerodrome, about a mile south of St Albans. Now owned by Eon productions who make James Bond films.

MAZE center

Canterbury House in Borehamwood

source: Google Maps

The middle shot of Wendy and Danny in the maze was taken from above from the Canterbury House in Borehamwood in a parking lot and later edited in the film and merged with a model of the maze.

MAZE (snow / night)

Stage 1

There is a great moment in Vivian Kubrick’s documentary when the crew looks at a map before filming to avoid getting lost. The smoke and heat was quite exhausting for the actors and crew.

plaster shops

backlot at the rear of Elstree Studios

At the end of the road to the snowcat garage, a hill has been created to hide the houses next to the studio. The trees on the hill are placed in such a way that a forced perspective is created.

THE SNOWCAT GARAGE

backlot at the rear of Elstree Studios

The garage set is part of the exterior overlook set.
This can be clearly seen in the scene when Wendy comes running through the ‘snow’ to check the snowcat.

The Enigma building (Elstree Optical / office)

With the storeroom and freezer.

BOILERROOM

Nowhere on the internet is stated where this set was.
I have a theory: where is the Boilerroom?

The Enigma building (Elstree Optical / office)

BLOOD ELEVATOR

tank on backlot at the rear of Elstree Studios

This was a 1/3 scale set and was used for weeks to prepare shots at high speed. I found a clip a few years ago where tests were done with water. I have never been able to find this video again.

Bedroom included.

AIRPLANE INTERIOR

airplane interior


Stansted Airport

In one of the small studios like Denham but probably Bray Film Studios. This was a standard airplane set, used for many movies.
(thanks to Gordon Stainforth)

‘the mound’ on backlot at the rear of Elstree Studios

I tried to find out roughly where the buildings stood on the basis of buildings in the background. It can be seen briefly in Vivian Kubrick’s documentary. I have to adjust my previous analysis.

DURKIN’S SERVICE STATION INTERIOR

Durkin's interior

There is strong evidence that the interior scenes are also included here.
There were two buildings called ‘store 1’ and ‘store 2’ on the ‘mound’. Maybe these buildings were used for the Durkin’s set.

‘the mound’ on backlot at the rear of Elstree Studios



STAGE 2

stage 2 was a question for me. Which sets were built here? I can’t imagine Stanley Kubrick leaving this set unused. According to sources on the internet “hotel interiors” were built here? Vivian Kubrick documentary shows a short clip where all the extras dress and make up for the Goldroom scene.

I am sure that the dress and makeup area for the ballroom scene took place in Stage 2.
This can also be recognized by the metal air ducts that can be seen in the top right of the photo.

stage 2
Dressing and make-up room in stage 2

Red Beetle

Hallorann’s arrival by road accident. The red beetle!
Is it Stephen King’s beetle?
This set was at the disused Radlett Aerodrome, about a mile south of St Albans. Now owned by Eon productions who make James Bond films.
(courtesy of Gordon Stainforth)

red beetle
Red beetle accident

MISSING SETS

although I started reconstructing and drawing sets of the Shining in 2011, there are still some that have not been made yet.

  • The bedroom of Hallorann
  • The airport arrival terminal and interior airplane
  • Inside the maze
  • The Snowcat Garage

10 People reacted on this

  1. We need to collectively come together as a community to fund the building of this hotel. It would be booked years in advance I already know. We could all pay to have a real-life shining hotel with exclusive events where people dress as gold room party goers with a no phone policy. Imagine what could be done. This would be so damn popular and a tourist destination. I’m really thinking of looking into the creation of such thing.

    1. I totally agree with you, Noah!
      It would be a mega project with the maze added. If you use the Timberline Lodge as a starting point, all sets will not fit. But there are solutions to be found.
      Also, the windows of the Colorado Lounge are nowhere to be found on the outside, but there is a trick for that too.

  2. You’ve done such exquisite work. The care is apparent. It feels like one is there, present in the environments you’ve created.

  3. The Stansted location is different. The current terminal building is on the south side of the runway, and was opened in 1991. The building shown in the film, the former terminal on the north perimeter, is now used by Harrods Aviation.

    1. Thank you so much Steven!
      It is almost impossible to find information about the filming made at Stansted airport. I will post your findings on the page.
      Thank you.

  4. I have stage dimensions of not only Elstree but most other studios around the world and Stage 5 was 140 by 115 with an unusually low ceiling at 25 feet though that may be the height Stanley wanted for the set or it’s the height to the lighting grid. The building would not only be slightly wider but higher as there are catwalks above to position and control lights etc. Ceilings or fourth walls in most films then were not often seen but Stanley thought they made a difference.

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