Disney gets approval for Santa Clarita production center

filmprod.jpgBut wait a second - hasn't Mayor Garcetti declared a state of emergency because L.A. is losing its entertainment industry? Guess he forgot about construction of a major TV and movie facility in the northwestern portion of the county that's expected to add more than a half-million square feet of studio space, multiple sound stages, and a few thousand jobs. The Disney development, along with the recently approved makeover of Universal Studios, represent major show business investments right here in Southern California. That would seem at odds with the long-running narrative that L.A. is in jeopardy of losing its hold on the entertainment business because other states are giving away millions in tax incentives in order to draw movies and TV shows. No doubt some location business has been lost, but the Hollywood infrastructure remains firmly entrenched in L.A. I must say, the new mayor sounds a bit silly with that emergency declaration business. Wait until a real emergency comes our way. The ill-effects of what's come to be known as runaway production have been wildly exaggerated by local officials trying to curry favor with below-the-line workers and - and now Garcetti is determined to lobby for more state incentives that California cannot afford. Sigh. From the Daily News:

In a series of interviews Tuesday, Garcetti said he plans to press the case with Sacramento to provide more in the way of tax incentives and other easements to keep more productions in Los Angeles, a proposal he has been advocating since his campaign for mayor this past year. "We've lost the blockbuster films. They don't film here any more. Tax credits around the world and around the country have taken them away." Garcetti said on the "Today Show."

Garcetti received a sympathetic cover spread in this week's Variety. This is an issue where emotion and political pull tends to trump common sense.

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Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
Mark Lacter, business writer and editor was 59
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