Len Evans

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Interview Date(s): 
22 Jun 1993
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Born 1929, Mitcham, father and uncle both dentists. Educated at St Joseph’s College, father wanted him to be a dentist but while on his course he visited the studio where The Guinea Pig was being made, they wanted youngsters for a crowd, so he put his name down; the next day while he was at his course the studio rang his home with a call for the next day. Father was furious and a family row occurred, so he left home and got a job with Paramount Film Services in the Publicity Dept.

He saw and advert in the Cine-Technician, Studio Film Labs wanted a projectionist. He applied and was interviewed by a man who he later discovered was the owner, a Mr Larkin. He was taken on not as a projectionist but as the “buck up” man (now called the Chemical Mixer). He talks about the lab which was on the top floor of 82 Wardour Street [London]; he worked here with Alf Dossett, working his way upwards in in 1968 he was made Technical Manager. In 1971 he was made Assistant General Manager. He talks about the establishing of ‘The Film Clinic’.


Nick de Rothschild joined the company, bringing his Electronic Picture House under the SFL banner. He talks about the Home Movies market, and the rebuilding of the labs, the founding of Photo-Electric Products. He then starts giving the history of SFL.


He continues with the history of SFL, and recalls how The Elephant Man was nearly processed by SFL, also how SFL “nearly” bought Hammer Films.




After two years in Dental School, Len realised that looking into a camera viewfinder was much more interesting than looking into people's mouths so joined Paramount Pictures as a trainee.

Joining Studio Film Laboratories in 1952 for further training in laboratory practice, he fell in love with the place and continued to work there for over 40 years. 

After involvement in sensitometry and chemical control, grading, printing and processing Len was appointed Director and General Manager of Studio Film and Video Laboratories in 1980.

Len was particularly knowledgeable about film treatments for restoring damaged, shrunken or warped films and was very involved in the 'Film Clinic' which specialised in these techniques. 

Len was an avid collector of technical journals and equipment related to the film industry, much of which he stored in his office over the course of his long laboratory career.

Len joined the BKSTS in 1951 and became a member of the Laboratory Committee in 1979.

As well as a distinguished career as a film laboratory technician Len was, in his spare time, a Special Constable in Central London and, when he was not working, Len enjoyed the freedom of the skies as a keen aerobatic pilot.

In the early 1990's Studio Film and Video Laboratories became Soho Images and when he retired from Soho Images Len set up a homeopathic practice from his home in which he has practiced for many subsequent years.