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The Lady in the Van: Maggie Smith film shot in Broadstairs is released today

By Extra reporter

It’s been one year to the day since Dame Maggie Smith came to Thanet to star in a very British film.

And today marks the movie’s nationwide release.

The Lady in the Van was shot in locations across Broadstairs, including Morellis Gelato, the Palace Cinema and Viking Bay.

Dame Maggie Smith pictured filming The Lady in the Van in Viking Bay. Credit: Thanet District Council
Dame Maggie Smith pictured filming The Lady in the Van in Viking Bay. Credit: Thanet District Council

The film is based on the Alan Bennett play of the true story of eccentric Miss Shepherd who was invited to stay in her van on his London driveway for three months and stayed until her death 15 years later.

The crew filmed in Thanet in November 2014, with the production company returning Broadstairs to the 1970s, removing yellow lines and signs adorning fences.

Broadstairs was chosen as the only location outside London for the film, with producer Kevin Loader describing Viking Bay as, “the perfect location”.

Filming for The Lady in the Van took place on Harbour Street, Broadstairs. Credit: Thanet District Council
Filming for The Lady in the Van took place on Harbour Street, Broadstairs. Credit: Thanet District Council
Filming takes place on the set of The Lady in the Van. Credit: Thanet District Council
Filming takes place on the set of The Lady in the Van. Credit: Thanet District Council
A street in Broadstairs is transformed back to the 1970s. Credit: Thanet District Council
A street in Broadstairs is transformed back to the 1970s. Credit: Thanet District Council

The area’s economy benefited from the 50-strong crew, which stayed locally and also took advantage of the various restaurants and bars during the two-day shoot.

It is estimated that the filming boosted the Broadstairs economy by about £40,000.

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