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Old 08-28-2014, 04:26 AM   #1
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Soundstage 28, The Phantom of the Opera set, To Be Demolished

Inside Universal:
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August 25, 2014 – First on Inside Universal – Inside Universal has learned from multiple sources that the oldest stage on the Universal lot, soundstage 28, is set to be removed. The soundstage is most famous for being the location where, in 1925, The Phantom of the Opera was filmed. The set pieces were left in there to this day, under the belief it was haunted.

As the sound stage is closed, Phantom’s set pieces are rumored to be removed and preserved. The area where the stage currently occupies is one of the largest spots on the Lower Lot, and long considered a prime expansion area for the theme park side of Universal Studios because of its proximity to the existing attractions. While unconfirmed, the site is likely to be used for future theme park development.

Constructed in 1925, soundstage 28 was originally built to house the famous Phantom of the Opera set. Since then, Universal’s monster canon – including Dracula, The Bride of Frankenstein and Psycho – have also filmed in the historic soundstage.
http://insideuniversal.net/2014/08/h...-set-to-close/

There is a petition set up to preserve it: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/330/2...e-opera-stage/

It sounds like the sets themselves will be stored elsewhere but the building itself is just as significant as the Phantom set itself.
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Old 08-28-2014, 07:46 AM   #2
Erick H.
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Sometimes I hate "progress".
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Old 08-28-2014, 03:07 PM   #3
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It always sad to hear of such historical places getting demolished. Not sure what an online petition is going to prove though. At least Universal is going to preserve the props, though I really think they should turn the place into a museum of sorts. But what do I know...
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Old 08-29-2014, 03:55 AM   #4
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Variety confirmed:
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As it upgrades its production facilities and expands its theme park, Universal Studios is planning to demolish Stage 28, one of the oldest on the lot, while preserving a 90-year-old set housed in the space and used in the original 1925 silent film “Phantom of the Opera.”

Universal’s plans were unveiled in a newsletter sent to employees last week, but rumors of the soundstage’s removal have spurred a petition drive, with nearly 2,000 signatures urging the studio to save it.

The studio, however, said that the “difficult decision” to remove the stage, built in 1924, came down to logistical challenges. For one, noise is an issue, as it is located just next to Universal’s Transformers theme park attraction.
http://variety.com/2014/artisans/new...et-1201292227/

Jesus, it's being torn down so they can keep a Transformers "attraction." They're tearing down something that's stood for 90 years so they can have something which will probably last less than 9 years.

There is a special thrill to Soundstage 28 which always carries with it, in ghoulish tone and flash light under the chin (if handy), the open secret of being haunted. The goosebumps are very real for film fans who visit the stage, as Ray Bradbury did:
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Originally Posted by Ray Bradbury
I was so thrilled to be working at the same studio that had made The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Phantom of the Opera, Dracula, The Mummy and The Invisible Man--movies that changed my life in the 1920s and ’30s. As soon as I moved into the studio bungalow and started work, I went over to the Phantom of the Opera stage and stood in the middle of the theater where they had filmed the opera house scenes. It was so glorious to be there in person, standing at long last with the ghost of Lon Chaney, my childhood hero. I felt like I was five years old all over again.
There are many such tales from special effects men, actors, writers, and other crew members. People sneak on the lot just to see "The Phantom Set." But the experience alone isn't just seeing the Opera set; its standing in the same place Lon Chaney once did. Breathing the same wood and concrete air from 90 years ago when they were shooting this momentous film (with one arm raised to prevent the noose from tightening around your neck!). The history is that building and its cache is invaluable in attracting people to Universal. It would be a crime to tear it down and a great loss to Universal as a whole.

However, from the Variety article they mention the following:
Quote:
The studio also is making a documentary on the preservation effort, which it says will be “an invaluable tool in helping future historians understand how film sets were constructed, used, and altered during the first six decades of Hollywood filmmaking.”
A few years ago the entire Universal 100th Anniversary DVD/Blu-ray release schedule was leaked the winter beforehand. What grabbed my attention in the leak was that The Hunchback of Notre Dame and The Phantom of the Opera were specifically listed as being in the Universal Horror Blu-ray box set. They were also prominently listed in the stand alone Anniversary website. Almost everything else on that leaked schedule came to pass except for these two silent features. At the time I thought it a long shot but not improbable, but now I wonder even more if perhaps due to restoration issues (and rights concerns) they were pushed back. What else, naturally, would a documentary on Soundstage 28 be included with? With the upcoming horror reboots and the reported "multimillion-dollar preservation effort to save the set from Phantom of the Opera," why not throw in the necessary thousands into digital restoration of the actual film?

Hell, this hubbub itself was originally stirred up by Universal's own newsletter. If they wanted to quietly tear it down without chance of objections they probably could have. I almost wonder if they're fishing for free press on their soon-to-be rebooted horror icons.

:adjusts tinfoil hat:
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Old 08-29-2014, 09:32 PM   #5
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Is it wrong to hope the enraged ghost of Lon Chaney's Erik opens up a gigantic can of whoop-ass on the folks responsible?

Once a set stands for 80 years it should probably stand forever. And if they want another attraction for Universal Studios theme park, wouldn't this make the ultimate final stop for the tour?
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Old 08-29-2014, 11:26 PM   #6
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White House Petition: https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/pet...dmark/cpb54DWS



It seems rather absurd to keep it around for 90 years only to now tear it down. Especially when it's still one of the biggest sound stages on the lot apparently. I'll admit not everyone who steps on the Universal lot will get the same feels out of it but for horror enthusiasts I can't imagine a more religious pilgrimage.
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