It’s lights, camera, action in Yonkers as the city welcomes glitzy, new movie studios to its already formidable footprint. In 2019, it was announced that Hallmark Channel founder Robert Halmi’s Great Point Studios would open a campus in Yonkers’ Downtown Waterfront District, featuring multiple soundstages, offices, backlots, and support space. In January, that quest became a reality.
The turnkey production studios’ anchor tenant is Lionsgate Entertainment, which is leasing the studios’ Phase One stages along with office space. This includes two 20,000-square-foot stages and one 10,000-square-foot stage. In addition, the campus, dubbed Lionsgate Studios Yonkers, offers access to two commissaries, dressing rooms, and post-production facilities. At press time, the Starz comedy series Run the World is set to be the first show filmed on-site.
“Local commerce will benefit from the expected 1000-plus people working at the studio complex daily.”
— Mayor Mike Spano
Within the next year and a half, Great Point Studios plans to expand to 12 soundstages and a staggering one million square feet of space. In addition to Lionsgate Entertainment, Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications is also renting space and plans to establish a filmmaking class.
“This … media complex will help complete the transformation of the Yonkers waterfront,” says Yonkers mayor Mike Spano. “Local commerce will benefit from the expected 1,000-plus people working at the studio complex daily.”
Meanwhile, Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer seems equally excited about his company’s brand-new facilities. “They will give our television and film productions state-of-the-art East Coast soundstages, with great proximity to New York City, and we look forward to them becoming an important hub for our global production activities.”
In addition to a host of other cushy perks, Great Point will offer a rather unique app-activated concierge service to production crews, allowing them to arrange for everything from dry cleaning and daycare to rides to the airport.