Earlier today I got to visit Universal Studios in Hollywood as the studio was finally reopening the New York Street backlot locations after the June 2008 fire. In attendance at today’s ceremonies were Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Steven Spielberg, Universal Studios President Ron Meyer, L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Chief Deputy Daryl Osby, Ret. Fire Chief Doug Barry, and a number of other actors and Universal Studios representatives.
Since many of you might want to see what everyone had to say during the ceremony, I recorded the entire 20 minute press conference and you can watch it after the jump. I’ve also posted the press release which details what happened in 2008 and what today’s ceremony were all about. Look for more interviews from the event and images soon:
Here’s the press release. Further down is the entire press conference. Governor Schwarzenegger is the last speaker and he was actually pretty good. He even talked about shooting Conan and his other Universal movies.
Today was a historic day at Universal Studios Hollywood as Ron Meyer, President and Coo, Universal Studios, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Steven Spielberg, L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Chief Deputy Daryl Osby and Ret. Fire Chief Doug Barry, we’re joined by such guests as Jonah Hill, Christopher Lloyd and Kali Hawk to announce the opening of four acres of newly rebuilt New York Street backlot locations. The site offers a wealth of creative opportunities for film and television production and an exciting behind-the-scenes look at Hollywood moviemaking for Universal Studios Hollywood theme park guests.
On June 1, 2008, a three alarm fire broke out at Universal Studios Hollywood, destroying New York Street, the King Kong theme park attraction and a video vault. In response, the entertainment community rallied together and assembled a world-renowned creative team to rebuild what had been lost. Jim Watters, President & General Manager of NBC Universal Operations Group, and Dave Beanes, Senior Vice-President of NBC Universal Production Services were joined by esteemed film legend Steven Spielberg, production designers, and Rick Carter (Academy Award winner for Avatar) to be a part of the design process. The team quickly expanded to a list of twenty-five award-winning production designers and graphic artists that collaborated, designed and rebuilt the legendary Hollywood fixture.
The finished product includes a New York block with a glass and steel look, Paris Square, London Square and Central Park. The newly constructed New York block will be fully completed on June 30th.
As for King Kong, the attraction was moved to expand the location and provide additional production parking. The new King Kong 360-3D attraction created by award-winning director Peter Jackson will open this summer and will be the world’s largest and most intense 3D interactive theme park experience.