Since the 1920s, the town has been home to several film studios and many shots of its streets are included in final cuts of 20th century British films. This earned it the nickname of the "British Hollywood". Whilst most of these studios have now closed, two still remain.
Many well-known films including The Dam Busters (1955), Moby Dick (1956), Summer Holiday (1963), Dr Zhivago (1965)', 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) and, The Shining (1980) starring Jack Nicholson, the first three Indiana Jones films and the first three Star Wars films were partially filmed at the former Associated British Studios in Shenley Road. These were partly demolished in the 1980s to make way for a Tesco Extra supermarket on one side and an office block complex on the other.
The area between the supermarket and the office blocks is all that remains of the original studio, which has been much reduced in size and usefulness to production companies as a result. Elstree Studios were more recently used for the popular TV series Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? and Big Brother, as well as several major feature films. The Inspector Morse TV series' production offices were based in the studios and, although the series was supposedly set in Oxford, several exterior locations (banks, shops etc.) were filmed in the streets of Borehamwood.
The former British National Studios off Clarendon Road referred to locally as "The Douglas Fairbanks studios" (which were bought by Lew Grade's ATV in 1962) are now the BBC Elstree Studios. The studios have, over the years, been home to Alfred Hitchcock's film Blackmail, Gerry Anderson's TV series UFO, Jim Henson's TV series The Muppet Show was also produced there, and now BBC's popular soap, EastEnders and their medical drama Holby City. An episode of Judge John Deed included scenes of the Tesco Extra, but with Borehamwood crossed out and Lewes written in its place.
Several other studios including The Gate Studio and the Danziger Studios at nearby Elstree have been demolished. The MGM-British Studios complex (demolished in the early 1970s) saw the production of many well-known films such as 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), Where Eagles Dare (1968) and Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1969), as well as many ITV television series including The Prisoner (1967–68).
The newer Millennium Studios is situated on Elstree Way, Borehamwood.