Lights, camera, action!

Plans have been announced to build a major new motion picture and television production facility in Newark between Weequahic Park and Newark Liberty International Airport.

Gov. Phil Murphy, who signed legislation four years ago reinstating New Jersey’s film tax credit program, noted that Thomas Edison invented motion pictures in New Jersey.

“We’re not just committed to making film and television production a core driver of our economy, we are actively restoring our historic place in a world-class location," he said Tuesday.

Great Point Studios, a studio investment and management business that specializes in film and television infrastructure, and the New Jersey Performing Arts Center are partnering with a global content company Lionsgate on the project.

Rendering courtesy of HLW
Rendering courtesy of HLW
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An economic driver for NJ

The governor said the Garden State exceeded $500 million in motion picture and TV production investments last year, a total that is expected to continue to grow.

“We are committed to working with the industry to ensure mutual growth and mutual benefit,” he said.

He noted the Newark project will create “many hundreds of new long-term jobs, with a priority, I might add, for Newark residents, and an annual income impact expected to exceed $800 million.”

He said there is tremendous demand for large sound stages in the Northeast, driven by how television and motion pictures are filmed.

“We are fielding calls weekly from production teams inquiring not just about our incentive programs but about where there may be potential studio space,” he said.

Rendering courtesy of HLW
Rendering courtesy of HLW
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The governor said New Jersey offers diversity, great union talent and excellent incentives, and several other production studios are being built in New Jersey, including a huge in that is slated to be built in Bayonne.

“Film production is becoming frankly our 'if we build it, they will come moment.' Newark and New Jersey are each ready for our close-up.”

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka described the project as a “monumental victory” for his city, noting “it will bring hundreds of new jobs, create new educational opportunities for our students, and invigorate the revitalization of the South Ward.”

Rendering courtesy of HLW
Rendering courtesy of HLW
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A unique partnership

Great Point Studios will own the 12-acre, 300,000-square-foot, full-service, modern entertainment complex.

The facility will be built near Newark Liberty International Airport, and operations are expected to begin in late 2024.

It will include production stages ranging from 20,000 to 30,000 square feet, offices, support space and parking for 400 cars and 65 trucks. The facility will offer a full set of production services on site, including grip and electric, equipment, props, set building, restaurants, location catering, cleaning service, and security.

NJPAC will manage public affairs and community relations for the studio and create educational programs and internships for Newark high school and college students

Lionsgate will receive naming rights to the studio.

David Matthau is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at david.matthau@townsquaremedia.com

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