A Hard Day's Night Question

I’m sure this has been answered before, but I can’t seem to find the answer…

In “A Hard Days Night” there is a scene where the Beatles go through an exit out the back of the theater onto a grass field of some sort. (The song “Can’t Buy Me Love” is playing in the background if that helps jog your memory.) I have watched this movie numerous times and have always wondered what the concrete pad was that they were running around.

The pad looks square, and there is a 2-3 foot circle, also made of concrete, on each corner of the pad. I had always assumed it was some kind of abandoned building pad, but having watched it again recently it looks like it was purpose built.

Can someone tell me what the purpose of this concrete “pad” would have been, or was it probably something the art director added because they needed something besides grass for them to run around on?

And for bonus points can someone tell me if you can see this strange looking pad using Google maps?

NM… thinking of wrong scene.

Here’s the scene in question.

I don’t know… helicopter pad?

Good guess. I thought of that, but why would a theater have a large empty field with a helicopter pad behind it? Perhaps I’m over thinking it…

They use a helicopter at the end of the movie, but it takes off from the grass, not from a pad.

As to the question, the building is pretty old and there’s a lot of junk in the back. Perhaps it’s a theater now, but not always.

Also, looking at the scene you’ll notice other oddities - there’s a pair of somethings in the ground every 10 feet or so at 38:05 and at 37:58 you’ll see other things that come out of the ground.

My guess, based upon this scant evidence? It’s a building that has been razed and the ground left fallow and what we’re seeing are the remnants of it. And though I have absolutely no evidence for this, I’m going to assume it was bombed and cleared out during WW2. (They are in London, right?)


According to this site, it was shot at the Thornbury Playing Grounds, with a fake helipad built in.


I realize that this is movie, and that what may look like the back of a theater may have been shot in some completely unrelated location.

I don’t think these are the remains (bombed out or otherwise) of a building’s foundation, but since I don’t know what they are I suppose that’s as good a guess as any.

That solves the riddle for me. Thanks everyone!

Well, the helipad-thing isn’t what lead to that conclusion, it was the other things you see coming out of the ground in the field that suggests a razed building.

Note at 36:33 that the first shot of the footage filmed at the field is tied to the previous shot as they run past junk in the back of the theater by including some theatrical looking junk on the left side of the frame. Also note that the light square surface they are running toward in that same shot is a different surface from the one seen in the very next shot.

The link above indicates that John Lennon had to leave before the shooting ended. This is evident in the talking heads shot (37:58) where he is absent and the very last, “Sorry we hurt your field, mister.” shot.

Thornbury fields forever

If this helps at all, I vaguely remember reading about how, at the height of Beatlemania, they had to arrive at some of the stadium concerts by helicopter because the crowds were too dangerous. Some places even built in special underground tunnels and such for them to escape by.