Hammer became a collector for the day at our unofficial 80th Anniversary celebration in Westminster's Central Hall!
On a recent crisp November morning, at the invitation of the lovely London Film Convention, we decided to don its best silk cloak and gem-encrusted cane (or jeans, shirt and backpack) and join the throngs of hardcore Hammer fans at Westminster’s prestigious Methodist Central Hall for our unofficial 80th anniversary party!
We got the feeling there was a collector’s Christmas awaiting us inside before we’d even stepped through the entrance. In the foyer, waiting for our photographer friend, Hammer witnessed a silver-tongued fan (whose Karnstein Trilogy-referencing t-shirt had been reworked to spell ‘THE HAMMER LOVERS’) using a decidedly hardball tactic to barter with an exasperated buddy over (as he labelled it) a “once-in-a-lifetime, one-of-a-kind” Hands of the Ripper US one-sheet. His salesman’s technique had us impressed and, with our tardy friend finally emerging through the crowd, we stepped inside with mounting excitement.
At only 11.30am the hall was already packed with fans, collectors, sellers and stewards… and stalls, of course! In addition to the endless classic posters, lobby cards, signed photos and stacks of DVDs on show (enough to build a life-sized Bray Studios replica, in case you were wondering), there were also some alternative gems for the discerning customer to spot (these lovely artworks caught Hammer’s eye).
With a number of classic Hammer stars also in attendance- signing all the photos, DVDs and pasty body parts fans could wave at them- there was a fun fervour to proceedings (Hammer embarrassingly admits we were too nervous to speak to Caroline Munro, Madeline Smith and Barbara Shelley, though we DID have a chat with friend-of-Hammer Marcus Hearn and former-secretary-of-Peter-Cushing Joyce Broughton about this recent publication).
Events peaked later in the day with a screening of fan favourite VAMPIRE CIRCUS, and then- before we knew it- the event was finished, the crowds were shepherded out, and we were on the tube home. Or in a local watering hole, we forget which.
Hammer would like to thank the organisers and fans for showing such love for our production company, and we recommend you watch this space for some official 80th anniversary content in the near future!