Raleigh Studios partners to bring motion picture studio to Utah

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PARK CITY -- There is now a Hollywood partner to a project near Park City that will bring a major motion picture studio to Utah.

Agreement reached to develop a studio and entertainment complex

KSL has learned that partner is Raleigh Studios, considered to be the largest independent studio management company in the U.S. It already has production facilities in Hollywood, Manhattan Beach, Playa Vista and Sylmar in California, as well as in Baton Rouge, La., and Budapest, Hungary.

Raleigh facilities have been home to many major film and television productions. Television shows shot at Raleigh include, "CSI: Miami," "America's Funniest Home Videos," and "Boston Legal." Last year, Marvel agreed to film several upcoming movies at Raleigh's Manhattan Beach site, including the sequel to "Iron Man" and "The Avengers."

The Utah studio will be located in Quinn's Junction, east of Park City.

Raleigh's studio division operates more than 40 soundstages. Developers of the Summit County site have previously told KSL this project would likely include eight to 10 soundstages, post-production facilities and a back lot.

State economic development officials have said Utah has lost out on major film productions in recent years, including "Transformers," "Wild Hogs," and "3:10 to Yuma." The primary reasons have been a lack of production facilities and significant tax incentives.

This studio and the passage of new legislation are expected to change Utah's prospects in the future.

"It's our desire to make the state of Utah the premiere film destination between L.A. and New York," Jason Perry, executive director of the Governor's Office of Economic Development, said in an interview with KSL March 3.

The exact time table of this project is unclear. Raleigh is beginning a design study for the project. Developers have said if all goes well, construction could begin in late summer or early fall.

Local movie expert reacts to the news

Film critic Steve Salles from KSL Newsradio's movie show says Utah is prime real estate for showbiz, but there was always one problem. "The biggest problem has been that we don't have the soundstage facilities to kind of round out that whole arsenal," he said.

He said Raleigh Studios specializes in these kinds of facilities, and they're a real player in the industry. "They've just signed with Marvel Comics to shoot the next four action movies with them, including Iron Man 2, Thor, Captain America and The Avengers."

He said the Legislature had perfect timing with their increased incentives bill this session.

He said, "There's a lot of competition now from Canada. Michigan has picked up a lot of business."

A lot of television shows rely on a sound studio to control the environment as well, so the new facility could bring in more than just movies, too.

Story compiled with contributions from Andrew Adams and Paul McHardy.

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