Movies

Major Hollywood prop shop to close

MUMBAI: One of Hollywood‘s largest prop shops is closing, the latest sign that the falloff in local film and TV production is taking its toll on small businesses that serve the entertainment industry.

20th Century Props of North Hollywood said Thursday that it would shut its doors next month because of mounting business losses.


The prop shop, which supplied the chandeliers in the blockbuster Titanic and futuristic furniture in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, has been a fixture for two decades. It operates out of a 1,18,000-square-foot warehouse near Lankershim Boulevard.


Earlier this year, 20th Century Props employed 28 people, but it is now down to only six. Owner Harvey Schwartz said a steep decline in orders forced him to close. "I‘ve been losing money every month for the last year," he said. "It‘s been horrible."


Several prop shops have laid off employees or closed this year, including Hollywood Practicals, which specialized in leasing period telephones and lighting equipment. Pam Elyea, who runs the prop house History for Hire with her husband, called the latest shutdown a "tremendous loss to the industry."


Feature film production in Los Angeles has fallen this year to its lowest level in more than a decade. The recession has caused studios to produce fewer movies, and California continues to lose production to other states and countries that offer tax breaks and rebates. Labor unrest also has contributed to the slump.

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