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13 December 2000

PAINT HALL STUDIOS LAUNCHED

A MAJOR new studio facility for the film and television industry has been launched in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
The Paint Hall Studios provides a new studio development as an entirely self-contained facility. A home for location shoots and studio based film and TV productions, with sound stages, preview theatres, audio studios, state-of-the-art post production facilities, Café & Restaurant, Gym and theatre.
Built in 1974, Harland & Wolff’s Paint Hall was originally designed to paint ships in a climate controlled environment. When the Belfast shipbuilders opened a new painting facility closer to their construction dry docks, a local consortium of media companies, headed by Jo Gilbert of Spinster Productions, decided to convert the Paint Hall cells into four sound stages.
Phase one of the re-development is complete with the refurbishment of cell 1 as The Titanic Stage, named after the ship which was built at the site.
The Titanic Stage, which is 17,000 sq ft, has internal phosphorus and halogen working lights and a lighting grid which is suspended from motorised winches. The winches raise and lower the grid from ground level to 85ft and any point between.
Cells 2, 3 and 4 are also available for productions and can be equipped within three weeks of a confirmed booking.
In addition to the four stages there are also fully operational production offices, which include networked PCs 5,000 sq ft in heated portacabins with desk space for 30 people, a wardrobe department, make-up room, Green room and canteen.
There is also a props store, and additional internal stores where workshops can be created.
However, the first production to use the new studio complex has run into problems with actors union Equity.
(CD)



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