Shoots at The Cockpit

The Cockpit is a purpose-built 1970s in-the-round black box theatre. Though predominantly used for live performances, it has been used as a filming location for 50 years.

We are suitable for:

  • Photographic shoots
  • Short-form video shoots
  • Music videos
  • Recording theatre performances
  • Recording music performances
The Auditorium: The stage space is approximately 8.6 m x 6.6 m. Total headroom is 8 m. (With all the seating pushed away, the space is larger, but please discuss with us first if this is a requirement of your shoot)

Studio 1: Approximately 8m x 7m, with maximum headroom 2.8m. Thick Harlequin rehearsal dance floor and mirrored wall (with curtain).
Studio 2: Approximately 5m x 5m, with maximum headroom 2.2m. Good flat acoustic response (As an ex-recording studio, the space is acoustically treated, but is not soundproofed). There is no natural daylight in this room (as there are no windows). Extractor fan.
Studio 3: Approximately 5m x 6m, with maximum headroom 2.3m.

Further details about the spaces here.
Here are 360 degree images of the building: 360 Images

As a guide, hire prices start from £45 per hour (minimum of four hours hire). There is no VAT to pay, and fees include a technician in attendance to supervise your get-in, source power supply, and help problem solve. But contact shoots [at] thecockpit [dot] org [dot] uk (subject: Shoots%20at%20The%20Cockpit) to discuss your requirements so that we can give you an accurate quote.

Other spaces that will be available include:

  • Workshop
  • Dressing Rooms
  • Staircase
  • Foyer
  • Toilets
  • Substage
  • Backstage
  • Roof

Please contact us to discuss shooting in these spaces.


Shooting at The Cockpit in the age of Covid-19

We are taking strict measures to be able to undertake photographic and short form video projects within our controlled and self-contained theatre building. We are currently taking bookings for dates from 21st July 2020, in our main theatre auditorium.

Over the coming months, we will be available for shoots in our three studio spaces, as well as other parts of the building (eg bar, dressings rooms, workshops, etc) but please contact us at shoots [at] thecockpit [dot] org [dot] uk (subject: Shoots%20at%20The%20Cockpit)  to discuss this.

The building is currently operating under Government guidelines to keep our staff and visitors safe. Full details can be found here.

We have anti bacterial hand gel (70% Alcohol) at all wash points, as well as dispensers placed in strategic places around the building for easy access at all times. Masks and Gloves to be worn by everyone at all times, with the exception of the artist/model when it comes to the time to photograph and film. We have one large van parking space available, but if you need more vehicles, please get in touch and we will either arrange to have more space available (or recommend nearby parking options).

We will supply cleaning materials, but you will be required to wipe down surfaces and be responsible for basic hygiene in the areas you use.

We do not provide kitchen facilities, however there is a fridge, kettle, and microwave oven in the dressing room that you are welcome to use. Please bring your own crockery, cutlery, coffee, etc Catering firms are allowed on site only by prior arrangement.


  • Type of shoot
  • Hours/dates/timings (please include set up/get out)
  • Numbers on shoot, including crew
  • Where will it be published/broadcast
  • Copy of public liability insurance
  • Site-specific risk assessment
As a rule, are restricting numbers as follows:

The Auditorium with a maximum of 25 people.
Studio 1 with a maximum of 10 people.
Studio 2 with a maximum of 6 people.
Studio 3 with a maximum of 8 people.

We believe that this will ensure your shoot is not stressful and give adequate spacing and free movement around the space. However, depending on the specifics of the shoot, these numbers may need to be reduced - please check with us before confirming.

Video/photographic shoots in other parts of the building are welcome, but please discuss with us prior to booking to discuss numbers of people we can accommodate in smaller spaces.

If more people are required for your shoot, we would suggest that timings are staggered so that not everyone is on set at all times.

To ensure we maintain stringent hygiene control on who is coming through the studio, it is compulsory to wash your hands immediately within the first few minutes of entering, and then use the anti bacterial hand gel (70% Alcohol) supplied.

On the floor throughout the building, green cloth gaff tape has been used to make markings 2 metres apart.
This acts as a visual guide to help people assess and make a clear judgment on a safe distance to comply with.

Cleaning of the spaces will be in accordance with Governmant guidelines. Please shoots [at] thecockpit [dot] org [dot] uk (subject: Shoots%20at%20The%20Cockpit) (contact us) if you wish for more details.

We are providing a dedicated bin for disposing of any tissues and PPE.  Any larger items that were part of the shoot and brought in externally and need disposing of safely.

British Film Commission  - Working Safely During Covid-19
The Association of Photographers - AOP Covid 19 Shoot Production Guidelines
The Advertising Producers Association - APA Covid-19 Shooting Guidelines



In the auditorium, for the theatre lighting, we have 60 x 2kW (10amp Fuse) dimmable ways on 63amp 3 phase supply, 20 ways per phase.
RED PHASE : Top Gantry, Channels 1-20
YELLOW PHASE: Lower Gantry, Channels 21-40
BLUE PHASE: Central Tee, Channels 41-56 & Floor, Channels 57-60
3 Channels used for house lights.
No crossing of phase areas will be permitted (i.e you must plug a lantern in on the same phase that it is rigged, lower gantry, upper gantry, central T section, or floor).

Various basic practical furniture, steel deck, and rosta are available. Please enquire about specific requirements. Small hand props will not be made available, so please make sure to bring your own.

The Auditorium is not sound proofed, but it does not back directly against any roads or railway lines, and is very quiet.

Studio 1 is reasonably quiet. It is on a quiet side road, but has large single-glazed windows, so if there happens to be a passing helicopter or bin lorry, you’ll hear it.
Studio 2 has a good flat acoustic response. Though not soundproofed, as an ex-recording studio, the space is acoustically treated.
Studio 3 is reasonably quiet, but is very resonant and not great for recording sound.

Please see for full equipment list, or get in touch: shoots [at] thecockpit [dot] org [dot] uk (subject: Shoots%20at%20The%20Cockpit)

Under the terms of the licence There is level access to the foyer, box office, bar and toilets. The studios are on the first floor and can only be accessed via a spiral stairway. Wheelchair access to the auditorium via the car park and rear entrance, avoiding the use of an overstep ramp between the foyer and the theatre.