Movies set in prewar London-Big domed building ID?

Pardon me for asking, but I was wondering…In a several movies set (But not filmed) in pre-world war II London (“Mary Poppins” and “The Mummy returns”, for example), I’ve seen shots of city skylines (Well, matte paintings) that show a large, old-looking domed building. I’ve never seen it in footage of post-war London, so unless I just foolishly overlooked it, I assume it was destroyed in the Blitz. Can anyone tell me what this building is/was?


Stab in the dark: The Albert Hall?

Probably St Paul’s Cathedral - designed by Sir Christopher Wren in 16-something, and still there.

Yep, St. Paul’s. The only readily-identifiable buildings in the “Mary Poppins” matte are that, Parliament, and the Tower, as I recall. They’re all well worth a visit, of course.

But St. Paul’s was still there last time I looked. And I can assure you that was after WWII.

Possibly Ranchoth is thinking of the Crystal Palace,which burned down in 1936. That would fit the timeline.

Alfred Hitchcock staged a chase over the domed roof of the British Museum Reading Room in one of his early pre-hollywood movies.

My guess is that the dome, whatever it is, is still there, but other taller buildings have reduced its impact.


That movie was Blackmail and the Reading Room has been restored and is now open to the public.

St. Paul’s was right in the midst of the Blitz:

It was struck by German bombs, and a very brave Royal Navy Lieutenant received the George Cross for defusing a one-ton German bomb, that had landed in Dean’s Yard. Had it gone off, it is very likely that the building would have suffered serious damage, even collapse.

I believe that several smaller bombs (1-kg incendiaries, IIRC) had fallen inside, but were smothered before initiating serious fires.

You can still see St. Pauls in the London skyline, but now there a quite a few skyscrapers in the vicinity that cause it to be less noticable. On a side note, if you’re in London and you visit St Pauls, I highly recommend paying one pound to take the stairs up to the top of the dome. It’s a long walk, but the view is incredible!

Tain’t the Crystal Palace. The pics I’ve seen of the Crystal Palace showed a rectilinear building. And it didn’t burn; it was moved after the Exhibition (to Sydenham?).

I’d vote for St. Paul Cathedral. Prior to WWII, it would have certainly dominated the skyline of London while, (as noted, earlier), in the re-building that occurred follwing the bombing and the war, it’s impact on the skyline would have been reduced by office towers.

During the war it was a fairly popular photographic icon, often surrounded by smoke from the victims of bombing raids, representing the British resolve to carry on.
(Fortunately, it never took a bomb hit, so the image continued to hold good through the war.)

You know in the film Map of the Human Heart, the scene during the War where Anne Parillaud and Jason Scott Lee are climbing on the skylights on top of the concert hall? And she takes off one stocking and drops it in, and it slithers silently down onto the timpani, causing the puzzled percussionist to look up? The sexiest scene in an otherwise dull movie.

Was that the Royal Albert Hall?

“Now they know how many holes it takes to fill the Albert Hall”

The Crystal Palace was moved from Hyde Park to Sydenham after the Great Exhibition but was destroyed by fire in 1936. It had an arched central portion but wouldn’t normally be described as “a large, old-looking domed building”.

The building Ranchoth is thinking of is almost certainly St. Paul’s cathedral. It features very prominently in Mary Poppins and in numerous other films - far more than any of the other suggestions made in this thread. And, yes, it’s still there - I ate my lunch on the same steps where the bird seed lady (theoretically) sat in MP only the other day.