Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Universal Studios will re-open backlot this summer

Good news today for Universal Studios fans as, according to Variety: "Universal will reopen its backlot this summer, nearly a year after a fire destroyed four acres of the studio.

Rebuilt locations include its popular Courthouse Square, Brownstone and New York streets. Production will resume on those sets in midsummer.

While redesigning the lot, the studio added sets such as a gas station, a firehouse and a London Street, as well as a modern urban cityscape with glass and steel facade structures. That cityscape will be the largest modern urban backlot shooting location in Los Angeles, U said.

Additional sets will remain in construction and are planned to open in 2010, but U declined to disclose details on those.

Altogether, the new and rebuilt locations will be featured on the Universal Studios Hollywood Studio Tour, as will the recently renovated soundstage that will house "The Tonight Show With Conan O'Brien" beginning June 1.

U said the new sets were built to "meet contemporary film production needs" and designed with the assistance of filmmakers and art directors.

Studio always said it would rebuild the backlot as quickly as it could, and include the latest fireproofing methods in the new construction.

While last summer's fire, ruled an accident, destroyed key facades, a warehouse storing old prints and the King Kong theme park attraction, other locations like the "War of the Worlds" set, Western Street, European Street, Mexican Street, the Psycho House and Bates Motel, as well as Wisteria Lane, seen on "Desperate Housewives," were untouched by the fire."

Full article by Marc Graser on the Variety web site.

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