An ominous cymbal clash thrust London’s Royal Albert Hall into the cinematic Hall of Fame during the title sequence of Alfred Hitchcock’s 1956 film The Man Who Knew Too Much. In the knuckle-biting climax of the classic thriller, Jimmy Stewart frantically tries to prevent an assassination that is about take place during a performance by the London Symphony Orchestra in the city’s famous venue. While the Hall was also used in Hitch’s original version of this film, it is the lush, full-color tumult of the remake that endured as an iconic moment in movie history.
The unique building, which can hold up to 6,000 people, sports a unique terra cotta frieze depicting “the triumph of the arts and sciences,” as well as an ornate glass and iron-wrought domed roof. Constructed by Queen Victoria in memory of her late husband, Prince Albert, the Hall first opened in 1971 and is now one of the most famous music halls in the world, as well as an icon of London architecture.
Aside from the inevitable slew of concert films, Albert Hall makes a stately appearance in several other musically-inclined movies, including Mark Herman’s Brassed Off, Scott Hicks’ Shine, and CÃ©dric Klapisch’s follow-up to L’Auberge Espagnole, Les PoupÃ©es Russes. For more information on Albert Hall and upcoming performances, visit their website.