Within just months of buying the Atlas Terminals industrial park, Brooklyn-based television and film production company Broadway Stages has set up working sound stages, some of which are currently being used for acclaimed movie director Baz Luhrmann’s first TV show.
Luhrmann, who is known for “Moulin Rouge” and “The Great Gatsby,” among many other movies, is working out of the new Glendale sound stages on “The Get Down,” a drama series that will run on online streaming service Netflix next year with 13 episodes.
“The Get Down” is based in the South Bronx in the 1970s and focuses on the birth of hip-hop. Depending on filming days, anywhere from 200 to 500 workers could be on site, according to sound stage manager Hernando Santana. This range includes film crews, actors and the staff that builds the sets.
It’s a turnaround in usage for the site, which was historically used as manufacturing space for multiple companies before Broadway Stages purchased it for nearly $20 million last year.
Damon Hemmerdinger of ATCO Properties, which developed the adjacent Atlas Park Mall that fell into foreclosure in 2009, began shopping the 11-acre Atlas Terminals site in 2011.
Broadway Stages promised not to destroy the old buildings on the site, but to transform them into new use for film production, further helping the booming industry in New York City.
“Broadway Stages is responsible for a lot of the filming in New York right now,” said Jamie Crowell, co-producer of “The Get Down.” “Because without the sound stages the jobs wouldn’t be able to come here.”
Today there are four new sound stages on the site, and there is space for more. Although the co-producer couldn’t reveal much about the plot of “The Get Down,” she said while some scenes will actually be filmed in the Bronx, in Glendale there will be sets for apartments and a club for reoccurring scenes from the show. “The Get Down” is using three of the sounds stages, while another upcoming show called “Billions” is being shot at the remaining one.
Besides the sounds stages, much of the Atlas Terminals property is used for “support space,” or lingo in the business for the offices, dressing rooms, practice space and areas used for constructing the sets.
When the property was bought, a Broadway Stages spokeswoman told The Courier that some of the space would be used for retail, but representatives couldn’t say more about that part of transforming Atlas Terminals yet.
Through its new sound stages use, film workers at the site are discovering the community as Broadway Stages encourages crews to use local retailers. Apparently, The Shops at Atlas Park is a hit.
“I’m a born and raised New Yorker and I’ve never been to Glendale, Queens,” Crowell said. “It’s fantastic. I love it. The mall is fantastic. You have all that stuff right there in one spot.”
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