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citykid09

Astrodome to be turned into a Movie Studio

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Do you know why Astroturf was invented? The grass died!

but that was only after they painted over alot of the glass panels because players were complaining that they could not see the ball in the air.

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...And in classic think-big fashion, one massive structure already has been erected with a potential 140,000-square-foot soundstage -- and it's ready for immediate use. That's the Houston Astrodome, which the Greater Houston Global Management Group is organizing for productions.

"It's a giant open barn," GHGMG founder Elise Hendrix says. "It's exactly what we need. It can turn an immediate revenue. It's ready right now."

The company will renovate the interior (one-time concession stands can't currently substitute for production offices), but Hendrix indicates they will submit their final proposals to the county very shortly.

"They're as anxious to get this show on the road as we are, because no one's paying any rent over there," GHGMG vp Cynthia Neely says.

So if you build it -- and that includes constructing a workable incentive -- will they come? Texans seem to have little doubt that, with some attention, the Lone Star State won't be lone much longer. But, says Hudgins, the window of opportunity will not be open forever -- not with that legislature meeting so infrequently.

"If we don't do something effective this time, we'll have to wait until 2011, and I fear by that time we'll have 50% of our workforce working out of state," he says. "It'll get to the point where it's really hard for us to recover. It's now or never."

http://www.onlyinhouston.org/en/art/2281/

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More info has been added on the website about each floor level.

Sound Stage

Over 90,000 square feet of sound stage space will be available for major film and video productions, whether to accommodate one gigantic set construction or divided into smaller, multiple sets.

The sound stage area allows for easy access to production offices, dressing rooms, post-production studios, secure storage, equipment rental, and vendors of every description that surround the production area. Props, lighting, sound equipment, and set personnel can be easily moved to any set location on the sound stage.

Offices and Studios

Three levels of the Astrodome will be built out and leased as office and vendor space, equivalent to approximately 600,000 sq. ft. Tenants can include production companies, radio and television stations, post-production studios, sound labs, digital animation studios, film processing, props manufacturing, talent agencies, camera and equipment rental, wardrobe and makeup studios, and virtually any support service associated with the industry.

Space options can be standard or customized. Any type of business associated with film, broadcast media, or production will find Astrodome Studios as the best option to support their professional trade. Along with the amenities that will be included, the tenants of Astrodome Studios will be pioneers

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This needs to happen. Houston is currently missing out on movie productions to other cities. Even movies that are set in Houston for the most part aren't taped in the city. With this place, it will allow lots of productions to be taped in the city.

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This needs to happen. Houston is currently missing out on movie productions to other cities. Even movies that are set in Houston for the most part aren't taped in the city. With this place, it will allow lots of productions to be taped in the city.

I think this concept has a high potential of happening. The movie incetive bill was just passed so that defianetly helps and cities within the state like Houston begging for Movies to be taped here, is also a plus. I think the Houston City Council wll have alot of interest in this.

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this is still in the conceptual phase according to the article.

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Letter from Judge Ed Emmett:

I've gotten good feedback recently on a television interview I did last week with KPRC-TV (Channel2), in which I told reporter Robert Arnold that I was actively soliciting public input on a variety of proposals for the Harris County Domed Stadium -- best known as the Astrodome, the area's iconic and beloved former sports stadium.

I said in the interview that I was hoping to reserve the Dome for public use, including the possibility of converting it into an indoor venue for the area's many cultural festivals. Houston and Harris County are famous for the Astrodome and for our many cultural festivals.

A number of folks have approached me in recent months about combining the two and using the Dome as a venue for many of the unique cultural, ethnic and community festivals we enjoy here.

And as we saw only too clearly last weekend, we in Harris County are extremely vulnerable to the vagaries of our weather. The International Festival suffered a pretty serious setback with the torrential rainfall we had Saturday. Having the Dome available for such eventualities seems to me a potential solution worth investigating.

Some of the major festival organizers have responded eagerly to the idea in informal discussions, so I'm now soliciting input from other organizers, civic groups, preservationists and the public at large.

At the same time, other groups are discussing museums, planetariums, studios and all sorts of public venues, but having the Dome as a multipurpose facility for everyone to enjoy would be tremendous. Of course, I imagine the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo would find it a useful venue too.

Readers may recall that the Harris County Sports and Convention Corporation has been in negotiations with the Astrodome Redevelopment Corporation (ARC) about ARC's proposal to convert the stadium into a hotel - an idea that has not progressed in recent months. Although the idea is not dead, we now need to pursue all possibilities.

I don't expect the county commissioners and I to take any action on the Dome before reviewing the county's Capital Improvements Program on June 23.

http://blogs.chron.com/thelist/2009/04/jud...rve_the_as.html

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Restoring the dome to be used as a backup for weather conflicted festivals is a waste. Plus, who would really want to go to a festival inside the Astrodome?

I agree on inside festivals but I think he wants to host as a permanent residence for cultural activities, not just a backup. Or did I miss that part?

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I agree on inside festivals but I think he wants to host as a permanent residence for cultural activities, not just a backup. Or did I miss that part?

If he's saying that, then I think that is an even worse idea. Festivals and other similar cultural activities are not meant to be indoors. The return the city would get for the money we put into it would be nowhere near worth the investment.

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No one is talking about this, but does Houston have a talent pool to support large scale filmmaking? The LA area has an entire economy that supports the film trade. Filming on location is one thing--but when it comes to soundstage work, or (especially) post-production work, why would a producer pay to relocate his talent when his talent AND his facilities already exist in the same location? I am concerned that 'Build it and they will come' won't apply, since, like the convention business, you're not attracting increasing buisness, you're trying to take the existing jobs away from someone else. Especially once you stop handing out the tax incentives. Has anyone looked at how much revenue from the film business Louisiana is pulling in now that they let the tax sweeteners expire? Who knows, it they can still make profits, they must have a good model.

I still say the best use for the Astrodome is agricultural. A giant grow house. We have abundant agricultural and engineering talent to make it state of the art. It would create jobs and consumables for the local retail market. And in terms of civic promotion, a massive public project contributing to sustainability would be much more newsworthy than a facility which exists to create yet more crappy content for the airwaves.

Edited by crunchtastic

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Besides tearing it down, at this point I don't even care what they do with the dome as long as it's not football or rodeo ralated or that hokey sounding Texas themed hotel. Just do something already.

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No one is talking about this, but does Houston have a talent pool to support large scale filmmaking? The LA area has an entire economy that supports the film trade. Filming on location is one thing--but when it comes to soundstage work, or (especially) post-production work, why would a producer pay to relocate his talent when his talent AND his facilities already exist in the same location? I am concerned that 'Build it and they will come' won't apply, since, like the convention business, you're not attracting increasing buisness, you're trying to take the existing jobs away from someone else. Especially once you stop handing out the tax incentives. Has anyone looked at how much revenue from the film business Louisiana is pulling in now that they let the tax sweeteners expire? Who knows, it they can still make profits, they must have a good model.

You raise a valid point. We have more than our fair share of fine artists, but I've observed that the ones that try to make a leap into the commercial sector generally suck at it. It's a personality thing more than skill. They can't take criticism.

However, like yourself, I'm not willing to write off the whole idea. This is certainly an industry for which other state and local governments have tried to create effective relocation incentives, and it isn't exactly as though California is the cheapest place to do business. If the film industry would utilize it, I think that this would be a great idea. I just don't want for it to sit vacant 90% of the time. I'd say that the key to proving the validity of the concept is to set up a contract with a private management company that earns basically a break-even fee up until a certain performance threshold, after which they get a sizable cut of revenues that would otherwise have gone to Harris County. The Astrodome, itself, would be a symbol that is very easy to promote, but only if there's someone who is marketing it with a fire lit under his ass...and I don't trust a bureaucrat to that kind of job.

I still say the best use for the Astrodome is agricultural. A giant grow house. We have abundant agricultural and engineering talent to make it state of the art. It would create jobs and consumables for the local retail market. And in terms of civic promotion, a massive public project contributing to sustainability would be much more newsworthy than a facility which exists to create yet more crappy content for the airwaves.

That's not sexy enough to be politically feasible. Houstonians just aren't granola enough.

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Texas loves us some executions, I say stage them at the dome and charge $10 admission. When not killing someone it can be a gigantic laser tag place.

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Texas loves us some executions, I say stage them at the dome and charge $10 admission. When not killing someone it can be a gigantic laser tag place.

Running Man!!

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That's not sexy enough to be politically feasible. Houstonians just aren't granola enough.

You are correct. There's no vision.

We'll probably will do the same ole thing, pump a bunch of capital into something we're not sure we can lease to capacity, subsidize it with tax favors, and on top of that, pay someone a cut to market it. It might as well be a mall.

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You are correct. There's no vision.

It's not for lack of vision. The fact that the Astrodome was even built in the first place is a testament to that. It's just that we don't value hydroponics the way we value sports...or movies...or performing/visual arts...or even hockey.

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You raise a valid point. We have more than our fair share of fine artists, but I've observed that the ones that try to make a leap into the commercial sector generally suck at it. It's a personality thing more than skill. They can't take criticism.

However, like yourself, I'm not willing to write off the whole idea. This is certainly an industry for which other state and local governments have tried to create effective relocation incentives, and it isn't exactly as though California is the cheapest place to do business. If the film industry would utilize it, I think that this would be a great idea. I just don't want for it to sit vacant 90% of the time. I'd say that the key to proving the validity of the concept is to set up a contract with a private management company that earns basically a break-even fee up until a certain performance threshold, after which they get a sizable cut of revenues that would otherwise have gone to Harris County. The Astrodome, itself, would be a symbol that is very easy to promote, but only if there's someone who is marketing it with a fire lit under his ass...and I don't trust a bureaucrat to that kind of job.

That's not sexy enough to be politically feasible. Houstonians just aren't granola enough.

I think that it could not only be useful for movies, but also in TV show production. Maybe some shows with live studio audiences. It could be an all around attraction.

Also, the Austin area had studio city going up. Its supposed to be like what Hollywood is to Los Angeles. Does anyone know how that project is going? And One more thing, I think the Dallas area has some sound stage studios, Barney and several other shows are taped there.

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I think that it could not only be useful for movies, but also in TV show production. Maybe some shows with live studio audiences. It could be an all around attraction.

Also, the Austin area had studio city going up. Its supposed to be like what Hollywood is to Los Angeles. Does anyone know how that project is going? And One more thing, I think the Dallas area has some sound stage studios, Barney and several other shows are taped there.

If you watch tv, you know that the majority of new shows are cheap- to- produce reality shows, CG animation, and other stuff that studios can market without investing huge money, time or equipment in. In order to make a giant sound stage and production facility viable, you have to keep it filled. You also have to attract high-budget production. I don't believe that Judge Judy, an occasional Scary Movie franchise shoot, and Bret Michaels' newest VH1 embarrasment will cover the costs to the county of giving away tax incentives for a facility that is half-filled half the time. I know it sounds really shiny and cool, sort of like jumbotrons downtown, but none of the people promoting the studio have provided any reliable data which says we have a market for this. Again--what are are Louisiana's numbers looking like? They did a very similar thing in Shreveport. They're also a few years in on it. Either they are making money, or not. I'm not saying it's apples to apples, but it would be instructive.

Now, The Astrodome Grow House, on the other hand, would be an all-around attraction. Do you know that other major cities do tiny, simple things like install rooftop vegetable gardens on their municipal buildings, and get press?? Do you know why Houston has hit some recent 'best of' lists? Discovery Green. Green space. Emphasis on green. An 'attraction' is kids coming in from all over the region on field trips to learn about ecological science. Turning a huge, crumbling urban arena bathed in a sea of concrete into a ag-based business in the 4th largest city in the country -- in an oil town nonetheless -- would be an attraction. Foreigners would eat it up. Taping Barney is not an attraction. Sorry.

Not picking on you, City Kid, but I smell amatuer hour with the people promoting this movie studio deal. And I'm completely serious about Dome Grow House. I think it's viable.

Edited by crunchtastic

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