updated 2/23/2010 4:39:29 PM ET 2010-02-23T21:39:29

Officials say Britain's culture minister has officially declared The Beatles' Abbey Road Studios a historic building.

Tuesday's announcement ensures that the venerable — but money-losing — music studios cannot be significantly altered without government permission.

The north London town house once hosted one of the world's most sophisticated recording studios, used by artists including The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Jeff Beck and Radiohead.

It is still used by orchestras: The film soundtracks for "Harry Potter" and "Lord of the Rings" were recorded at Abbey Road.

But the studios' future had been called into question in recent days. Current owner EMI says the studios have been losing money for years and that it is seeking cash to revitalize them.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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