Movie soundstages burning down seems to have become a semi-regular thing these days. In the last five years, fire famously destroyed the 007 stage at UK’s Pinewood Studios, and sections of Rome’s Cinecittà Studios and the Warner Roadshow Studios on Australia’s Gold Coast.
Now, a fire broke out just before dawn this morning on the world-famous Universal Studios lot in Los Angeles, California. Los Angeles County fire Inspector Daryl Jacobs tells the Associated Press that at least one building had burned and as many as three blocks of movie facades were destroyed, but thankfully there has been no injuries except for one firefighter (who has since been treated).
Amongst the property losses are the King Kong exhibit, a video vault containing more than 40,000 videos and reels, and several studio streetscapes including one of New York and another of New England. Most notably the iconic courthouse square from “Back to the Future” has been destroyed whilst the clock tower itself has been damaged. Filming was apparently taking place when the fire broke out, but its not been revealed what productions have been affected by the damage.
Around 300 firefighters and several water-dropping helicopters were brought in and were able to contain the fire. The theme park is expected to remain open today, though the studio tour has been affected by the blaze. The MTV Movie Awards are still expected to air live from Universal City tonight.