October 6, 2015 | Source: khon2.com

Hawaii Film Studio to receive $3.5 million makeover

An outdated facility that brings in millions of dollars to the state is about to get a much-needed makeover.

Last December, then-Gov. Neil Abercrombie released $3.5 million to improve the state-owned Hawaii Film Studio.

KHON2 has learned the work is now finally out to bid.

At the foot of Diamond Head, you’ll find the Hawaii Film Studio. The property doesn’t have the flash of Hollywood, but it’s where a lot of television and movie magic happens.

“This facility, parts of it date back to the ’70s,” state film commissioner Donne Dawson said.

It’s the only facility of its kind in Hawaii.

When asked why it’s important for taxpayer dollars to be spent on a film studio, Dawson replied: “Because this film studio is a critical piece to Hawaii’s growing film industry.”

All of the money will be spent on replacing four red cottages, which currently house the locations, props, wardrobe and art departments for “Hawaii Five-0.”

“The cottages are more than 40 years old. They are termite-eaten, rat-infested, non-ADA-compliant,” Dawson said.

Dawson showed KHON2 the rendering of the modular units that will replace the cottages. She said they’ll be more comfortable, safer, and more energy-efficient.

Contractors have until Thursday, Oct. 8 to put in their bid for demolition and construction.

When asked if the project still on budget for $3.5 million, Dawson replied: “Yeah, and it’s all part of the phased approach to the renovations that need to take place here.”

It’s been 10 years since Hawaii Film Studio saw major construction.

Dawson said there’s much more they’d like to do, such as build another sound stage, but that’s all contingent on funding.

“Because the state has already invested close to $20 million in this facility to date, it’s important the state protect that investment,” Dawson said.

Construction is set to start next April when “Hawaii Five-0” goes on break.

Work is expected to take several months to finish.


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