Television

SPE sells historic Culver Studios for $125 million

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MUMBAI: Studio City Los Angeles (SCLA) has paid $125 million to acquire the legendary Culver Studios from Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE).

 

In addition to film classics like Gone With the Wind, Citizen Kane Culver Studios was the birthplace of TV favourites like The Andy Griffith Show, Hogan's Heroes, Batman and Mad About You.. In India, MAU airs on Zee English and Hallmark.



Previous owners of Culver Studios have included Cecil B DeMille, and eccentric billionaire Howard Hughes. SCLA will look to build on the studio's glory days of film and television production. It will seek to stimulate Culver Studios into a hotbed of activity and put it at the forefront of every producer's list of places to shoot. As part of the agreement SCLA has also committed to constructing a 30,000-square-foot expansion of the Culver Studios Office Building. This will provide quarters for Sony Pictures' Animation and Imageworks Visual Effects divisions.



SCLA was created by three key entities. One of them is the Lehman Brothers, the global investment bank with $200 billion in assets. Ron Lynch will become the president and assume oversight of the day-to-day management of The Culver Studios. In his 20-year career Lynch has supervised Orion Pictures' television productions, and served as executive VP of production at Sony's Tristar Pictures.



A company release informs that the Culver Studios assets include 14 sound stages and the DeMille screening room. Lynch added, "All of the reasons that producers have loved this facility for more than 85 years are still in place. We intend to enhance the services we provide, make more studio space available at reasonable rates and attract new clients. SCLA is committed to creating the most producer-friendly studios in Hollywood." The Culver Studios core clientele is comprised of studio and independent film producers; dramatic series, specials, sitcoms and live-audience television productions; music video productions, advertising commercial shoots and bands or performers heading out on tour, using the sound stages for rehearsal.



Television shows currently in production are ABC's Life with Bonnie and Fox's Arrested Development, Films now shooting on the lot are Columbia's Skipping the Holidays and Fox's Fat Albert.

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