The long-awaited official opening of the $ 100 million Lionsgate film and television production studio in Yonkers is set to take place on January 11, the Business Journal has learned. The first project to be produced in the new facility is believed to be a Lionsgate Television film, “Run the World”.
An official inauguration ceremony is expected on January 11. The Business Journal had previously been informed that work on the productions could begin before an official opening ceremony was held. An official opening in November with some production work starting in October had previously been planned.
The studio is located on the iPark Hudson site adjacent to the Kawasaki Rail Car Inc. factory near Yonkers Station and the Hudson River. It was designed with two sound stages of 20,000 square feet each and a 10,000 square foot stage as well as parking for 450 cars. Developer National Resources recently proposed an extension of the studio and the addition of additional parking.
Additionally, Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano, in an interview for the December issue of WAG magazine, the Business Journal’s sister publication, said the opening of the Lionsgate studio will be a major event for the city’s future. , likely to be followed by other movie studios opening in the city including a second large studio on a large plot of land in the southern part of Yonkers that was closer to reality.
When Spano took office, film and television companies were reluctant to work in Yonkers due to the tax structure and the city’s licensing and hiring requirements for personnel like firefighters and police.
“In 2011, we had two days of shooting in this city. Now we are averaging over 200 days a year, ”Spano said. “We got rid of this tax, we changed the way the city did business and frankly it didn’t come without pain because some of our municipal unions went to where they were filming and said, “You have to hire two of our people. It was crazy and I set up an office just to film with one person doing it and I said, “If you need to hire two firefighters then you better do pyrotechnics. Otherwise, we don’t need firefighters. Do we need the cops? We’ll hire cops if we need them. We’ll hire public works crews if we need them, but we’re not going to go and almost to the point where it looked like we were going to hold you back for those employees.
Spano said the stage is set for people to see similarities in the relationship between Los Angeles and nearby Burbank, where the film and television studios are located, and the relationship between Yonkers and New York City.