Olivia Colman movie transforms Margate seafront with fake snow and lavish sets

Filming for ‘Empire of Light’ is taking place over three months at a number of coastal locations in Kent

Fake snow has been falling on a stretch of Margate seafront this week, as part of a big-budget film production starring Olivia Colman and Colin Firth

Crews have transformed the famous Dreamland building in the Kent town into a period cinema, complete with illuminated signage and ticket kiosks. 

Nearby pavements and roads have been decorated with artificial snow on a number of occasions, while lamp posts have had Christmas lights attached. 

Oscar-winner Olivia Colman is among the cast attached to the feature film being made in Kent

Filming for ‘Empire of Light’ is due to take place in Margate and various other coastal locations in Kent until May.

The movie is written and directed by Sam Mendes, with Olivia Colman, Micheal Ward, Colin Firth and Toby Jones among the A-list cast members. 

The shoot has involved a number of road closures, with several more scheduled. 

  • Watch: Dreamland amusements building has been converted to resemble a 1980s Empire cinema

The story is set around ‘a beautiful old cinema on the south coast of England in the 1980s’, according to production company Neal Street. 

Director Sam Mendes, known for his work on two James Bond films, said: “I’m really thrilled to be working with so many wonderful collaborators across both cast and crew on such a personal project. It’s a particular thrill to be working for the first time with Olivia Colman, and to be working once again with my long-term collaborator Roger Deakins.”

The production has already involved several road closures in Margate, with several more planned.