History of Ardmore Studios
Ardmore studios are ideally located in Bray Co. Wicklow. Situated 12 miles south of Dublin city and bordered by the spectacular Wicklow Mountains, the choice for prime film locations is limitless. Within a stone’s throw are some of the most beautiful spots in Ireland such as, the cascading waterfall at Powerscourt, the breath taking valley at Glendalough, and the stunning Wicklow hills and countryside. Within the town of Bray itself there are many perfect spots, including the scenic mile long Promenade, the impressive Killruddery House and gardens and numerous bars and hotels perfect for indoor shots, such as The Bray Head Hotel and The Harbour Bar.
The Studio first opened its door in May 1958 and in its over 50 year span has played host to over 100 films, attracting big name actors, directors and producers. Before the studios opening, the Irish film industry was confined to shooting on location, but now Irish film makers had the opportunity to shoot indoor all year around.
The first film shot there was a screen adaption of the play Home is the Hero written by the Irish playwright Walter Macken. It was directed by Fielder Cooke, an Emmy winning American director, with Macken himself taking the title role.
Since then the studio flourished and has become the driving force of the Irish film industry, enticing international producers to bring big budget films to our shore. Ardmore boosts state of the art facilities, a well known and acclaimed reputation and a supreme location.
Some of the big name directors that worked with Ardmore Studios include John Boorman, Francis Ford Coppola, Ron Howard, Mel Gibson, Neil Jordan, Stanely Kubric, and Jim Sheridan.
Some A list stars that have worked there include Richard Burton (The Spy Who Came in from the Cold), Fred Astair (The Purple Taxi), James Cagney (Shake Hands With The Devil), Daniel Day Lewis (My Left Foot), Sean Connery (The Last Great Train Robbery), Liam Neeson (Excalibur), Pierce Bronsnan (Evelyn) Merly Streep (Dancing at Lughnasa), Christian Bale (Reign of Fire), Anne Hathaway (Becoming Jane), Keira Knightley and Clive Owen (King Arthur), Cillian Murphy (Breakfast on Pluto) and Daniel Radcliff (My Boy Jack).
Numerous projects film in Ardmore Studios went on to do well and win awards. List of accolades include Katharine Hepburn receiving an Oscar for her role in the 1968’s The Lion in Winter, Daniel Day Lewis and Brenda Fricker won Oscars for their roles in My Left Foot and for Mel Gibson’s Braveheart, he picked up five Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Director.