24 HOUR PARTY PEOPLE
Rebuilding The Hacienda
Though the film follows the rise of
Factory Records and the bands that were attached to it, the other major focus of
the story is about the emergence of rave culture, the beautification of the
beat, the arrival of dance music, and the birth of one of the most famous clubs
in the world. The brainchild of Rob Gretton, the dubber's mecca: the Hacienda.
On Friday, March 2, 2001, 1500 revelers
returned to the Hacienda to help film the penultimate scenes of the movie.
Original Hacienda DJ's Dave Haslam and Mike Pickering were bought in once
again to mix the decks. Old faces were there to enjoy the party. Barney Sumner
and Hooky joined the Mondays' Bez and a host of original regular
Hacienda-goers who danced the night away into the early hours.
The infamous club was passionately and
intricately recreated down to the last bolt by Production Designer Mark
Tildesley and his team.
"Initially I was hoping that we
could use the original building," Tildesley says. "When I was brought
on board, the actual Hacienda was still in place, but it had been sold to a
property developer. Though we tried some early negotiations about keeping the
place alive until we could finish filming, that crumbled into nothing."
They set about rebuilding the club then, and had to work out how much they'd
need to replicate to shoot the script. Tildesley says, "we decided we
really had to build the main area, the mezzanine, the Kim Philby bar, and the
With not much to go on, the team scaled
up a small plan of the Hacienda, and they were able to get onto the original
plot to take some final measurements before it was finally demolished. However,
much of the recreation was done from a set of photographs from a Manchester
post-grad who had done a thesis on the club. Tildesley says what they have
created is "a replication of the Hacienda when it first opened in
To maintain the authenticity of the set
they used some original fixtures and fittings in the reconstruction. "We've
got some original light fittings in here," Tildesley says. "We bought
some stuff from the sale — a lot of furniture, some of which we we've used,
some of which we've replicated. We have the original shutter doors back at
base. But a lot of the stuff we got we bought for reference purposes rather than
for construction use."
Some original fixtures were too
precious to risk using on set. As Tildesley explains, "We were going to use
the original doors. They're owned by Peter Hook. He gave us two and the other
two are on his garage doors. But because we were smashing into them, we decided
to use replications. We also sourced some original Phil Diggle (Hacienda artist)
paintings in a gallery, but they're quite valuable. So the nice thing is Phil
himself came here and repainted a set of the paintings. That was really
Though you would never know when
walking on to the set, Tildesley does admit to a few artistic liberties in the
replication. "The width of the building (housing the set) was slightly
wider," he says. "In order for us to make our Hacienda work, we had to
proportionally spread out some of the things, so you'll find that the thrust
on the front of the stage was four feet longer than the original one. The dance
floor is seven feet wider and the mezzanine nine feet wider. We don't have the
flat ceiling in as low as they did, as in terms of filming purposes it wasn't
actually very good."
The real club having closed in<
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