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Published: Wednesday, 9/21/2011

Paramount seeks $700M revamp of Hollywood lot

Movie studio has been at same lot since 1926


LOS ANGELES — Viacom Inc.’s Paramount Pictures movie studio plans to apply to the city of Los Angeles this week for approval of a 25-year, $700 million plan to refurbish the lot in Hollywood it has occupied since 1926.

The approval process could take about two years.

“For nearly 100 years, Paramount Pictures has made movies that are loved around the world,” CEO Brad Grey said in a statement. “To continue to do that successfully, it is critical that we give our talent and staff the tools and technology they need to remain innovative in our approach to filmmaking.”

Paramount is the last major studio still located in the Hollywood district of Los Angeles — others are scattered throughout the area from Culver City to Burbank.

It plans to gradually revamp its 62-acre lot by tearing down some buildings and constructing new ones, turning surface parking lots into structures and expanding sound stage space to 383,100 square feet from 362,100 square feet.

The aim is to make the cramped lot more efficient, create better traffic flows, allow production offices to be closer to sound stages and make it easier for wardrobe trucks and dressing room trailers to get in and out.

Part of the problem with the current lot was that Paramount never fully integrated the former RKO Studios’ Gower lot in the western portion after buying that studio in 1967. So trailers are jammed into small spaces and sometimes must be parked far from the set where their occupants are working.

Paramount said the project will create 7,300 jobs and generate $1.1 billion in economic output during construction.

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