The expansion that will bring Hollywood into the borough has begun.
Construction has started on the back lot at Kaufman Astoria Studios to create an outdoor film set on 36th Street between 34th and 35th Avenue. The site is the only one of its kind in the city.
“We’ve wanted to do this for a long time,” said Hal Rosenbluth, president at Kaufman Astoria Studios. “I stood in the middle of the street and I smiled because it had been a long time coming.”
The outdoor studio space is expected to bring in more movie and TV producers because it will allow them to leave sets up for extended periods of time.
Within a few days of construction, Rosenbluth said the back lot was already being used to film an upcoming film called “Beware the Night.”
“It creates another service capability for producers to have in the city of New York,” said Rosenbluth. “It allows producers to do some of the shots that they have otherwise been doing on the streets of New York.”
Rosenbluth said the expansion will reduce traffic and congestion and boost the economic expansion that Kaufman Astoria Studios has long provided in the area. He also said the expansion will bring the neighborhood together.
Rosenbluth added the main entrance gate, to be located at 35th Avenue, will serve as an iconic symbol in the community.
“When you’re in L.A., your expectations are to drive up, pull up to a gate and say ‘I want to see Mr. Spielberg,’ and now that’s going to be able to happen in Kaufman Astoria Studios,” said Rosenbluth.
Construction is expected to be completed by mid- to late October.