Universal Studios Hollywood plans to relocate soundstages to expand theme park

Posted Thursday, June 23, 2016 9:03 AM | Contributed by Jeff

Universal Studios Hollywood is embarking on a new five-year plan that will reorient many of its production soundstage facilities to the east near its backlot, as it makes way for additional space to expand its theme park. In the works is a new complex of ten soundstages, to be built in 2017 and 2018, as a cluster of smaller stages on the front and west portion of the lot are removed to make way for new theme park attractions.

Read more and see a map from Variety.

Thursday, June 23, 2016 9:18 AM

I regret not checking out Universal Studios Hollywood during my trip to Disneyland, Magic Mountain, and the LA area back in 2014. I even got turned around on the highway at one point and wound up at the exit and saw it in front of me, but it just wasn't in the cards. It sounds to me like they are trying to make it more of a destination resort with the success Orlando has had the last several years. Sounds good to me.

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Thursday, June 23, 2016 9:40 AM

I think so too, and more in line with the times. I was there only once many many years ago and I thought it was a strange mix with theme park and tram. Now that HP is open with it's entire themed area this makes sense.

I thought some years back that there was a problem with this park due to lack of available space and also a concern from neighbors. Maybe this 5 year plan is an answer to that. Is the tram ride through all that open outdoor space still a thing or is it / will it be a thing of the past?

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Thursday, June 23, 2016 12:43 PM

RCMAC said

I thought some years back that there was a problem with this park due to lack of available space and also a concern from neighbors.

Yes, before the Comcast involvement there were all types of plans/ideas/concerns about what this park would end up being. I don't remember all of them but the "Evolution" plan was the most publicly discussed and honestly didn't bode well for the future of a theme park (Read "residential"). 8-10 years later and now they are going full steam ahead to beef up the theme park, and make it more of a resort (that's a loose term given infrastructure, hotels, etc).

This plan to free up space at the bottom of the hill is crucial for further expansion. As it is, the current bottom of the hill area can't begin to cope with the crowds that Potter is bringing in. They need a good family dark ride (Life of Pets) and who knows what else they'll be able to cram in down there.

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Thursday, June 23, 2016 12:46 PM
janfrederick's avatar

Lack of space seems to be an issue for all non-Six Flags parks down here in SoCal. Then again, Magic Mountain used to be in the middle of nowhere. I'm sure we'll see it surrounded in the not so distant future.


"I go out at 3 o' clock for a quart of milk and come home to my son treating his body like an amusement park!" - Estelle Costanza
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Thursday, June 23, 2016 12:50 PM

in the bleakest days of the last SF Bankruptcy and the peak of the housing boom, SFMM was absolutely endangered. If not "surrounded", certainly it is being encroached upon by development. I still say that SFMM is the most at-risk of the SF parks, and should be always be viewed in that context.

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Thursday, June 23, 2016 2:28 PM

If you ever get there, I highly recommend the VIP tour. They will take you in a trolley with about 20 people and in addition to the standard tour they will let you get out and walk around the sets and prop shop. I have a picture of me standing in front of the Bates Motel, Wysteria Lane, War of the Worlds, etc. It was really great, but that said, besides the tram and Waterworld there is nothing there that isn't in Orlando. I won't be back until there is, simply because Orlando is a far superior version of this park for me to lose a day in Disneyland.


2017 Trips: WDW, Dollywood, Cedar Point, KI, SDC, BGW, BGT, SWO, Universal Orlando

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Thursday, June 23, 2016 9:32 PM
bjames's avatar

CreditWh0re said:

I still say that SFMM is the most at-risk of the SF parks, and should be always be viewed in that context.

Well you're off your rocker then, aren't you?


"The term is 'amusement park.' An old Earth name for a place where people could go to see and do all sorts of fascinating things." -Spock, Stardate 3025

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Friday, June 24, 2016 12:09 PM

The last time I went to Universal Studios Hollywood, I was the lucky recipient of a tour that nobody, and I mean nobody, gets. :D


My author website: mgrantroberts.com

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Friday, June 24, 2016 10:47 PM
99er's avatar

Yeah? A guided tour of the executive bathrooms? :)


-Chris
Remember, if you're arguing on the internet, you've already lost.
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Saturday, June 25, 2016 2:46 AM

The production company that optioned and later renewed one of my screenplays is located on the Universal lot. So I got to see things like Steven Spielberg's movie theater at Amblin Entertainment, tour Dreamworks, eat at the commissary, stuff like that. This was years ago, but it was amazingly cool.


My author website: mgrantroberts.com

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Saturday, June 25, 2016 9:36 AM

Nice!! Reminds me of the time I had a good college friend who worked at NBCUniversal in NYC and I got a tour of the SNL and Late Night facilities that was much more in depth than the public tours they give every day. A once in a lifetime experience!

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Saturday, June 25, 2016 12:10 PM
99er's avatar

^^Very awesome, Ensign! I have yet to see the Universal lot but hopefully soon I'll get a chance to see it first hand. With the work I do for Disney I get unlimited access to the entire Walt Disney Studios in Burbank. Basically any door that isn't locked or has a red light flashing above it is open season for me including the archives. I am a huge motion picture and production nerd so needless to say the first time I went I left no stone unturned. :)

I am hoping whatever soundstages they are removing are not the older ones that have a lot of film history. I know they are just empty buildings but I would be pretty bummed to see those stages torn down. At the same time I am happy the theme park is needing to expand for future use though.


-Chris
Remember, if you're arguing on the internet, you've already lost.
YouTube | Twitter | Instagram

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Saturday, June 25, 2016 1:11 PM

Brett, that must have been fabulous to see all that!

99er, I slobber at all the open doors for you at Disney. I have some absolute fanatic Disney friends (not on this site) who would probably kill for access like that.

Side note, and probably not very interesting for those that don't know me, but the screenplay in question has a main character named Ensign Smith. This was shortly before I joined the boards here and over at Pointbuzz. So when it came time to come up with a (hopefully) clever screen name....


My author website: mgrantroberts.com

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Saturday, June 25, 2016 3:45 PM
birdhombre's avatar

I had always wondered where your screen name came from, especially after I learned your last name isn't Smith. I just assumed it was from some movie I'd never seen. Turns out, I was right. ;)

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Saturday, June 25, 2016 4:55 PM

*Knocks on wood. 😉


My author website: mgrantroberts.com

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Saturday, June 25, 2016 9:21 PM
99er's avatar

Ensign Smith said:

99er, I slobber at all the open doors for you at Disney. I have some absolute fanatic Disney friends (not on this site) who would probably kill for access like that.

Over my years in the industry I have seen some cool places and been involved in some amazing projects but that first trip to Walt Disney Studios was by far the coolest experience to date. I am going back to LA in September for an event at the Hollywood Bowl but I sure as hell am going back to the Studios to do more exploring:) I don't think any trip to LA will ever go without a stop at the Studios now. I would love the same kind of access to Warner or Universal because those have produced more films that I am a fan. Some day though...some day :)

I think its pretty cool that you write screenplays. Just recently I started on one myself after a friend who writes convinced me that I should start putting down my ideas on paper. I don't ever plan for them to go anywhere as right now its just a way for me to be creative outside of my job. Who knows though :)


-Chris
Remember, if you're arguing on the internet, you've already lost.
YouTube | Twitter | Instagram

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Saturday, June 25, 2016 9:28 PM

That's great! Stick with it, and have fun. As you say, who knows what can happen with your creative work.


My author website: mgrantroberts.com

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Sunday, June 26, 2016 10:33 AM
Jeff's avatar

I sure could use a short screenplay to shoot...


Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

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Sunday, June 26, 2016 2:17 PM
99er's avatar

Oh yeah? I've got an idea for a short that I need to get down on paper. Out of all my ideas it's the only one at this point I'd actually like to shoot.


-Chris
Remember, if you're arguing on the internet, you've already lost.
YouTube | Twitter | Instagram

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