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Thread: Sony's historic NYC studio to be closed and sold

  1. #1

    Default Sony's historic NYC studio to be closed and sold

    Hi all. I've lurked a while but this is my first post here. I apologize if this has been covered.

    It's a sad day for us music and history fans. Sony's amazing studio in Hell's Kitchen has been sold. It was originally built as a Fox Movietone studio in the 20s.

    Any idea what will happen to it? Can someone share photos? Perhaps it's not the greatest architectural loss, it has a lot of great history.

    Thanks,
    dan c

    http://www.amny.com/news/local/am-so...82,print.story

    <H4>amNEWYORK EXCLUSIVE

    Sony to shutter historic studios

    By Marlene Naanes, amNewYork Staff Writer
    MNaanes@am-ny.com


    June 14, 2007, 7:30 AM EDT
    Citing difficult times in the recording industry, Sony BMG is closing its historic Hell's Kitchen studios, where artists such as J. Lo have recorded and movies such as "Shaft" were filmed.

    The five-story red-brick building on West 54th Street and 10th Avenue will no longer house Sony Music Studios, according to an internal memo obtained by amNewYork. The June 8 memo said that employees will be terminated when the studios close in mid-to late-August.

    Some employees possibly will be allowed to transfer to different parts of the company. It is unclear how many employees will be affected and what the future holds for the studio building that once housed Fox Movietone studios, where one of the first technologies to combine sound and film in the 1920s was used.

    The music-industry giant is being hush-hush on the deal, only saying that Sony BMG, the studios' parent company, signed a purchase and sale agreement with a New York developer called HSAC Corp. Efforts to contact the developer were unsuccessful. It was unclear what will happen to the building.

    Movies such as "Miracle on 34th Street" and television shows like the original "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" were filmed there. The studios also hosted the New York filming of "America: A Tribute to Heroes," a bi-coastal telethon that raised money for the families of Sept. 11 victims just days after the attacks.

    Before Sony bought the warehouse-sized building in 1993, Camera Mart, an equipment rental company, called it home. After renovating the building, Sony Music Studios soon became a popular and high-tech recording spot.

    In a 2001 article in the on-line recording industry publication Mix, Andy Kadison, the studios' senior vice president said" "We're like the millennium's version of an old-time Hollywood studio. We can do virtually every aspect of an entertainment project under one roof, ranging from audio recording, mixing, mastering, archive restoration and plant production, to television production and satellite broadcasts, to audio and video post-production."

    When reached Wednesday on his cell phone, Kadison declined to comment on the sale or the future of the building.
    Copyright 2007 Newsday Inc.
    </H4>

  2. #2

    Default

    Welcome to this site, Dan. (I'm sorry that it took such a sad happening to propel you to become a member.) Nobody posted the news before you, so this is your thread.



    (West 54th St. at 10th Ave.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan C View Post
    Any idea what will happen to it?
    AMNY reports that Kaslan declined to comment on this story, and that "the music-industry giant is being hush-hush on the deal, only saying that Sony BMG, the studios' parent company, signed a purchase and sale agreement with a New York developer called HSAC Corp. Efforts to contact the developer were unsuccessful. It was unclear what will happen to the building."
    Source:
    http://gothamist.com/2007/06/14/sony_bmg_needs.php

  3. #3
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Many of the interior scenes for "The Exorcist" were shot at the studio that used to be at this address...

    ... The complex interior set, with moving walls and refrigeration, was built at the Ceco Studios (now called Cameramart), 450 West 54th Street between 9th and 10th Avenues in New York.

  4. #4
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Sony BMG Needs A Miracle On 54th Street

    Gothamist
    June 14, 2007

    It's not just venues closing down these days, the latest real estate casualty is still music-related, however. AMNY reports that Sony BMG is closing its Hell's Kitchen studios.

    Not surprisingly, the company alluded to difficult times in the recording industry when internally annoucing the five-story brick building (which resides on West 54th St and 10th Ave) will be shutting its doors this August.

    Employees received the memo on June 8th, also letting them know all jobs held in the building would be terminated. Yikes! It's possible that some will be offered transfers, however.

    The building is pretty historic, prior to Sony's purchase of it in 1993, this is where Fox Movietone studios were once housed - meaning it was one of the first places to combine sound and film in the 1920s. "Miracle on 34th Street" and "Shaft" were even filmed there! More recently it was used for the "America: A Tribute to Heroes" bi-coastal telethon raising money for families of September 11th victims.

    The building was mainly used for recording music after Sony purchased it (Jennifer Lopez, Kanye West and Christina Aguilera are amongst those who recorded there). In a 2001 interview, the studios' VP, Andy Kadison, told Mix magazine "We're like the millennium's version of an old-time Hollywood studio.
    We can do virtually every aspect of an entertainment project under one roof, ranging from audio recording, mixing, mastering, archive restoration and plant production, to television production and satellite broadcasts, to audio and video post-production."

    AMNY reports that Kaslan declined to comment on this story, and that "the music-industry giant is being hush-hush on the deal, only saying that Sony BMG, the studios' parent company, signed a purchase and sale agreement with a New York developer called HSAC Corp. Efforts to contact the developer were unsuccessful. It was unclear what will happen to the building."

    Guess this news will raise the bidding on this eBay auction to be a "Rock Star for a Day at the Sony Music Studios in NYC". Could a disgruntled future ex-employee be making some money on the side?

  5. #5
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lofter1 / gothamist View Post

    The building is pretty historic, prior to Sony's purchase of it in 1993, this is where Fox Movietone studios were once housed - meaning it was one of the first places to combine sound and film in the 1920s.
    "Historic" barely begins to cover it ...

    The Movietone sound system is a sound-on-film method of recording sound for motion pictures which guarantees synchronisation between the sound and the picture ...

    Movietone was perfected by Theodore Case and Earl I. Sponable in 1925 at the Case Research Lab. in Auburn, New York, with their creation of what would become the Movietone camera ...

    Fox hired Earl I. Sponable (1895-1977) from the Case Research Lab. in 1926, when he purchased the sound-on-film patents from Case. Although Fox had also purchased other sound patents, such as the German Tri-Ergon patents, the Movietone system was solely based on the Case Labīs inventions. The first feature film released using the Fox Movietone system was Sunrise (1927) directed by F. W. Murnau. It was the first professionally produced feature film with an actual sound track ...

    All of Fox's sound feature films were made using the Movietone system until 1931, while Fox Movietone News used the system until 1939 ...

    Sponable worked at the Fox Studios (later 20th Century Fox) on 54th and 10th in New York City until he retired in the 1960s, eventually winning an Academy Award for his technical work on the development of CinemaScope ...
    http://www.widescreenmuseum.com/Widescreen/dynamo1.htm



    ***



    Earl I. Sponable, Past President of the SMPTE, and technical director of 20th Century-Fox,
    receives two awards -- the first man to be so honored by the Society. Awards were made
    for outstanding contributions to technical advancement of the motion picture art.

    Participating in the presentation are (from left) Col. Nathan Levinson, Sound Director of Warner Bros.,
    Jack Warner, Production Executive, who presented the annual Samuel L. Warner Memorial Award,
    Mr. Sponable and Peter Mole, SMPTE President, who conferred the 1951 Progress Medal.
    Presentations took place at the Wednesday banquet at the Convention.

    ***

  6. #6

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    The music business is really hurting. The condo business isn't.

    Hmmmm???

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeW View Post
    The music business is really hurting. The condo business isn't.

    Hmmmm???
    I understand the renowned Hit Factory studio building has been converted into condos. It's near the Sony studio, isn't it?

    I can't imagine that a five-story brick building like this would be worth converting into condos.

    It's sad to me, again mostly because of the history more than the architecture. It was a great studio.

    dan c

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rapunzel View Post
    Welcome to this site, Dan. (I'm sorry that it took such a sad happening to propel you to become a member.) Nobody posted the news before you, so this is your thread.



    (West 54th St. at 10th Ave.)




    Source:
    http://gothamist.com/2007/06/14/sony_bmg_needs.php
    Thanks much for the welcome and for posting the photo. This forum is an amazing resource. I'm looking forward to visiting wonderful New York for the first time this November. Hopefully there'll still be some interesting things to see other than just glass condos.

    dan c

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