In the evening hours on June 2, 2008 large explosions rocked Hollywood’s Universal Studios back-lot. No, not the work of some special effects crew filming a scene for a movie. These large explosions being heard were destroying studio buildings and movie sets, like the famous courthouse square and bell tower where the final scenes of Back to the Future were filmed. Started by roofers shingling a roof in the area, the fire ripped through multiple city blocks of sets and famous backdrops. This fire cost the film industry a lot on many levels. From the many years of history that went up in flames to the many local film jobs that followed when the back-lot closed indefinitely. Productions now had nowhere to shoot their New York and London street scenes in LA. They actually had to go to New York and London, and they use Local crews when they do this. So, the fact that the back-lot is finally open for shooting to all productions after 2 years of rebuilding is a major uplift to the employment or unemployment situation that is currently plaguing many crew members in the Hollywood filming sector. Finally, some good news in a town where good news is always lacking, some people can finally get back to work.

As you can see from the video clip, this fire was enormous and the fact that no lives were lost was a miracle. Firefighters at one point were seen going into the film vault on the lot, which houses all the studios negatives that were in danger of burning, and hauling out film cans one by one to ensure their safety.

The dedication ceremony today for the largest set construction project in Hollywood history was being held at the Universal Studios Back-Lot, with Steven Spielberg and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Spielberg designed the new 200 million dollar back-lot, it features 13 city blocks and 15 shooting areas over four acres. It includes sections that resemble Central Park, Wall Street, a Broadway theater district, brownstones and a courthouse square. The back-lot can also stand in for London. And with a pub, cafe, bank, jewelry shop and many other storefronts, it can function as any city anywhere. The heights of buildings were increased while, at the same time, the streets were narrowed to allow shooting on both sides simultaneously. The revamp also includes improved fire warning and prevention systems. So congratulations Arnie and Stevie, job well done. Now, get back to filming so we can all work too… The both of you!

Dingo –

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1 Response » to “Destroyed by Fire in 2008, Famous Hollywood Back-Lot at Universal Re-Opens”

  1. Universal Studios is still one of the best film studios and you can also visit their offices `

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