The Museum at the movies: 13 chances to see us on screen

Paddington Bear at the Museum with Dippy in Hintze Hall.

Paddington (2014). © The Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London. All rights reserved.

Can't make it to London? Enjoy our buildings from the comfort of your sofa.

The Museum's stunning architecture has made it a popular choice as a filming location for everything from blockbuster movies to TV dramas. Discover which films and television shows feature the Museum.

Many can be watched on popular streaming services, but availability will vary depending on your location. Want more ways to visit the Museum online? Check out our Virtual Museum page for ideas on how you can explore from home.

  1. The Mummy (2017)

Universal's reboot of The Mummy, which stars Tom Cruise, features the Museum prominently. The Mummy was filmed in both public and private areas of the Museum. The shoot coincided with a temporary closure of the Minerals gallery This meant it was possible to film during Museum opening hours – something which can't normally happen.

The Tank Room, where specimens are stored in jars of alcohol, was also featured. 

2. Poirot: The Veiled Lady (1990)

Agatha Christie's famous detective Hercule Poirot paid a visit to the Museum. In this episode of the long-running series, Poirot must turn criminal to help the beautiful Lady Millicent Vaughn steal back a letter being used to blackmail her. Hintze Hall is used as the meeting place between Poirot, Hastings and Lady Vaughn. 

3. Jupiter Ascending (2015)

The Museum takes on an otherworldly appearance in sci-fi space opera Jupiter Ascending. Mila Kunis plays Jupiter Jones who discovers she is a space princess who must protect Earth from a destructive force. The impressive Hintze Hall is used as the intergalactic space palace, while the Zoology basement corridor and General Herbarium are also featured. 

4. Loch Ness (1994)

Loch Ness focuses on scientist Dr Dempsey, who travels from the United States to Scotland to disprove the existence of the Loch Ness Monster, only to meet a family of them. The Museum is the site of a conference where Dr Dempsey abandons his presentation.

 

5. Paddington (2014)

The Museum was a significant setting for the first Paddington film. It is here that Millicent Clyde works as a taxidermist and where she shows Paddington her plans for him. The scenes were filmed over six nights.

 

6. One of Our Dinosaurs is Missing (1975)

The first movie filmed at the Museum, One of Our Dinosaurs is Missing is a Disney classic where a spy steals a secret microfilm from China and hides it in the skeleton of one of the Museum's dinosaurs. A team of nannies become involved in a race to rescue the dinosaur after it is stolen from the Museum.

The film features several sequences in the galleries including a fight scene involving taxidermy specimens in the Mammals gallery.

 

7. Flirty Dancing (2019)

The Museum is the setting for an episode of Flirty Dancing, the TV dating show where couples look to find their perfect match through dance. Each pair must learn their half of the dance alone before meeting for the first time to perform the dance, hopefully making it a first date to remember. Series two, episode four sees Eleni and Topsy meet to dance in Hintze Hall at night. 

8. Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001)

The interior of Lara Croft's home and base of operations was partly filmed at the Museum. The exterior shots are of Hatfield House in Hertfordshire.

9. Celebrity Painting Challenge (2019)

The BBC's Celebrity Painting Challenge pits six famous people together to test out their artistic skills. The series' finale is held in Hintze Hall, where the remaining celebrities are challenged to paint any item from the Museum's collections. Celebrities competing included Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, George Shelley and Josie d’Arby. The Mammals gallery and Hintze Hall balcony displays are both included.

10. Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes (1984)

Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes, tells the story John Clayton, the 6th Earl of Greystoke. Raised in the jungle by monkeys, he returns to England to rejoin society. One of the film's key scenes occurs when John is invited to the opening of the 'Greystoke Wing' at the Natural History Museum.

This sequence takes place in Hintze Hall. While visiting, Greystoke is disturbed by the taxidermy animal displays and, after stumbling upon live, caged apes sets them free before being chased by police and Museum staff.

11. Seven Days to Noon (1950)

Classic black-and-white thriller Seven Days to Noon is about a scientist who steals a nuclear bomb and threatens to destroy London. The Museum stands in for the Wallingford Research Centre and, in a key scene where Professor Willingdon listens to a radio broadcast from the Prime Minister explaining the plan to evacuate the city, he leaves the Museum using the Cromwell Road entrance. Another scene shows the military moving past the Museum.

Cromwell Road entrance

12. Basic Instinct 2 (2006)

It may not be as memorable as the classic first film, but Basic Instinct 2: Risk Addiction did use some dramatic London locations. Alongside the Gherkin, Old Billingsgate Market, and Imperial College, when Glass visits Denise at work, her office is none other than the Museum.

13. Andy's Dinosaur Adventures (2014) and Andy's Prehistoric Adventures (2016)

Waistcoat. Gizmo. Hat. Take me to the time of the dinosaurs! Join Andy on the adventure of a lifetime to meet dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures.

Andy's clock is on display in the Central Cafe. 

Andy standing in front of his clock that's glowing blue in Hintze Hall.

Virtual Museum

Delve into the Museum from home with a virtual self-guided tour of the galleries.

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