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Reopening of Universal Studios backlot

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Universal Studios backlot - Steven Spielberg, Universal's Ron Meyer, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa
Steven Spielberg, Universal's Ron Meyer, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa

At 10 a.m. on May 27th, I stood on a street in New York, and it was raining. If I were really in NYC that wouldn’t be news, but I was on the backlot at Universal Studios and, as we all know, it never rains in sunny California – well, there goes another myth!


[pullquote]Almost two years ago on June 1, 2008, a three alarm fire broke out at Universal Studios[/pullquote]Almost two years ago on June 1, 2008, a three alarm fire broke out at Universal Studios, which is only a couple of miles from where I live. I could see the smoke rising in the sky and worried about all the damage that was being done. At the end of the day, New York Street, the King Kong theme park attraction and a video vault had perished.

Director Steven Spielberg rushed to the studio that day and watched as the backlot burned around him. Determined to assist in rebuilding what was lost as quickly as possible he brought in production designer Rick Carter (who just won the Academy Award for Avatar) and the rebuilding began.

So it was fitting that Spielberg, along with Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who made many films for the studio, were on hand to reopen the backlot for filming, and for all the tourists to enjoy this summer.

The finished product now features a New York block, a Paris Square, a London Square and Central Park. As for King Kong, Peter Jackson created a totally new attraction called King Kong 360-3D which he will be opening this summer.



Universal’s video of the event to reopen the backlot