Kaufman Astoria Studios offers free open house Sunday

By Bill Parry

The Hollywood-style gate at the Kaufman Astoria Studios will open to the public Sunday for a daylong, family-friendly street fair on the studio’s back lot and surrounding streets.

“New York On Location” drew more than 10,000 visitors last year, as movie and television fans were able to tour more than 20 working movie trailers and trucks, straight from production shootings on the streets of the city, and speak directly with movie professionals about what they do on set.

As in past years, the event will feature stunt performers demonstrating street fighting, high falls, and stunt driving; makeup and hair demos; and weather effects like snow and rain. Food will be available from actual movie catering trucks and treat trucks.

“I think it’s awesome, a great opportunity for average people to see what goes into the magic of film,” Kaufman Astoria Studios Vice President Tracy Capune said. Built in 1920, Kaufman Astoria Studios was the original home of Paramount Pictures, and more than 100 silent films were made on its sound stages. Today, top Hollywood film, television, and digital on-demand series are made at the studio, including the Netflix hit “Orange is the New Black.” “Sesame Street” has filmed at KAS since 1992.

The event is co-sponsored by I.A.T.S.E Local 52 and Theatrical Teamsters 817.

“We are proud to be an integral part of all the film and TV productions shooting on location,” Theatrical Teamsters Local 817 President Tom O’Donnell said. “This event allows our members and those of other motion picture unions and guilds to come out from behind the screen to talk to New Yorkers about what we do.”

The galleries at the Museum of the Moving Image will be open and “Behind the Screen,” an interactive exhibition about how motion pictures and TV shows are made, marketed and exhibited, will be presented. MoMI will also present “Arcade Classic: Video Games from the Collection,” an exhibition featuring more than 30 playable video arcade games.

“The film and television industry employs thousands of New Yorkers every year, from electricians and carpenters to makeup artists, and while we love seeing the magic that appears on screen, few people outside the industry can really appreciate all of the work that goes into creating that magic,” KAS President Hal Rosenbluth said. “New York on Location” is a wonderful way for families and anyone interested in movies and TV shows to experience what goes on behind the scenes and meet people who work in the industry

Admission is free to “New York on Location” and the museum from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The studio gate is located at 36th Street and 35th Avenue.

Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparry@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4538.