Raleigh Studios Seeks New Park City Home
By Joel Carson
Utah’s tax rebate incentive for film companies is a step in the right direction toward a thriving art industry that enriches Utah’s quality of life and benefits the local economy. A Feb. 28 Los Angeles Times article reported one of the nation’s largest independent studio facilities operator is planning to build a $100 million studio there. Raleigh Studios, based in Hollywood, manages soundstages in Louisiana, Georgia, and Budapest, Hungary. But wait, there’s more, Raleigh also operates a studio in Playa Vista and Manhattan Beach.
The proposed 374,000-square-foot project would be a real boon to Park City and the State. It would also be a true testament to the reach of Park City’s Sundance Film Festival. Talk about a Park City luxury home, the project would include three 15,000-square-foot soundstages according to the Times article. Think that’s sweet? Add eateries, quaint shops and a hotel to the deal. The ball is in Park City’s and Summit County’s court. Plans have reportedly already been submitted.
Utah knows how to make the arts work for business. A tax rebate of 25 percent of in-state production expenses could be what wooed the company to Utah. The popularity and notoriety of the Sundance Film Festival didn’t hurt either. In fact, the word is Raleigh hopes to capture some business from the high-profile event and its parent institute.
Sundance Institute is the brainchild of Robert Redford who established the program in 1981 to encourage creativity through exploration, nature, and the solitude of Utah’s Wasatch Mountains. Playwrights, filmmakers, and an enthusiastic audience continue to learn about culture and art with a premiere festival every January. The independent filmmakers market holds promise for Raleigh. And, as long as the company plays nice, doesn’t compete with the Sundance Film Festival, and respects the Park City design and building culture it holds promise for independent filmmakers.
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