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Official Opening of the David Lean Room

27 May 2008
Sir Sydney Samuelson, Lady Lean and John Box at the opening of the David Lean Room in 1999.BAFTA Archive

We recall the grand opening of the newly-refurbished David Lean Room, described as “A fitting tribute to one of the giants”.

The David Lean Room (DLR) was opened in June 1999 at 195 Piccadilly, the Academy’s headquarters in central London.

Formerly a banqueting space, the DLR was relaunched after an extensive refurbishment with help from the David Lean Foundation to provide a stunning setting for events. The finished room proved to be a fitting tribute to the first Chairman of the British Film Academy and one of cinema’s great film makers.

Today, the David Lean Room continues to be used as an important venue in the heart of London’s West End for a wide range of Academy and industry events, from press launches and screenings to auctions and weddings.

"The official opening of the David Lean Room (formerly known as the Function Room) at 195 Piccadilly was a special occasion indeed, bringing together various generations of filmmakers to remember and honour a man Lord Puttnam described as “unquestionably one of the giants of modern British cinema.”

Refurbished and appropriately decorated with posters and stills, the David Lean Room became a reality thanks to the generosity and commitment of the David Lean Foundation and with the full approval of Lady Lean, who was guest of honour at the ceremony and who officially declared the room to be open.

BAFTA’s [then] chairman, Tim Angel, welcomed the guests on behalf of the Academy and thanked those who had in various ways contributed to the occasion."