2016-06-15 / Front Page

New Sound Stages To Bring New Magic To Kaufman Studios

By Liz Goff
Officials at the Astoria film production studio that opened more than 32 years ago with “a dollar and a dream” are still dreaming.

Construction is slated to begin soon on a new, 4-story building on a parking lot at 34th Avenue and 36th Street that will house two production stages measuring 1,500 and 8,500-square-feet, that will also feature office space on the top floors and an underground paring facility, studio officials said.

Plans for the studio were originally announced I 2014, but the project was delayed, a studio spokesperson said.

When construction is completed, the Kaufman Astoria Studios will boast 12 sound stages, including the city’s only outdoor film lot, opened in 2014.

“There is no better place to make a movie or TV show than New York City,” studio president Hal Rosenbluth said. “With the tremendous growth of the entertainment industry here, our stages are constantly occupied, and we’re thrilled that with the new stages we will be able to expand the number of productions that call New York home,” Rosenbluth said.

The studio complex was built in 1920, and was the original home of Paramount Pictures. Owner George Kaufman purchased the studios from the city for “a dollar and a dream,” in 1982, after the military abandoned the old Army Pictorial Center.

Kaufman promised to fill stages at the new studio with the same magic spawned by the Lansky players, The Marx Brothers, W.C. Fields, and other great artists who graced stages at the facility in the 1920s and 30s.

The Kaufman Astoria Studios has been used for well-known productions like “Men In Black,” “Nurse Jackie,” “The Wiz” and “The Verdict.”

The project will break ground this fall and is expected to take 18-to-24-months to complete.

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