Kaufman Astoria Studios recently announced that they will be building two new sound stages on its campus in Astoria. With the additions, the studio will be home to twelve sound stages, including the only outdoor backlot in the city.
The two stages, Stage O and Stage N, will be within a single building and could be used together for a large production or used for two smaller, separate productions.
Vice President of Kaufman Astoria Studios Tracy Capune explained that while the studio is only in the designing process right now, it hopes to break ground by the end of the year. Construction typically takes about 24 months, Capune added.
"It was always our intent to finish out expanding the complex around the back lot,” Capune said. "We’ve owned the parking lot and the gas station for a couple of years now; projects go in a sequential way and it’s time to do this now."
Stage O is expected to be over 15,000 sq. ft. while Stage N will be about 8,500 sq. ft. or more. The new building will be four stories high and will feature an underground parking garage. The new building will have approximately 26,000 square feet of ancillary production space and 45,000 square feet of office space on the upper floors.
Recent productions shot at Kaufman Astoria Studios include “Money Monster” starring Julia Roberts and George Clooney; Showtime’s “The Affair”; Netflix’s “Orange Is The New Black” and “How To Be Single” starring Dakota Johnson, Alison Brie, Leslie Mann and Rebel Wilson.
“There is no better place to make a movie or TV show than New York City,” said Hal Rosenbluth, President and CEO of Kaufman Astoria Studios. "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.”
Capune added, “business is very busy so we are looking forward to opening two new stages because we know that they’d be very well used right now.”
During a recent street festival, known as New York On Location, the studio partnered with the Museum of the Moving Image, Theatrical Teamsters Local 817 and I.A.T.S.E. Local 52 to offer a behind-the-scenes look into film production. People were able to visit makeup trailers, see live stunts, check out how to create weather effects and watch performers demonstrate fighting among other activities. Over 15,000 people visited the event throughout the day.
Due to its large scale, Capune hopes to continue the event every 18 to 24 months, especially because all of the people who work on the event are doing it on a volunteer basis.
The studio also recently purchased the 84,000 sq. ft. UA Kaufman Astoria Cinemas, which Capune said will continue to operate as the neighborhood movie theater.
"We think the movie theater is an important part of what’s going on at the Kaufman Arts District and around the Kaufman campus so our plans are to keep it as is,” she said.