Virginia Economic Development Partnership
First Lady Susan Allen Hosts Groundbreaking Ceremony
-- Virginia's First Full-Service Hollywood Film Studio Becoming a Reality --
Petersburg - Virginia First Lady Susan Allen today officially welcomed New Millennium Studios at groundbreaking ceremonies in Petersburg. Announced last October and founded by Hollywood veterans Tim and Daphne Maxwell Reid, the 59-acre facility becomes Virginia's first full-service film studio. Armada/Hoffler Holding Company of Chesapeake will serve as the principal developer and contractor in the $11 million studio.
"New Millennium Studios is leading the way for unprecedented new film production opportunities in Virginia," said Mrs. Allen. "Our low cost-of-doing business combined with beautiful scenery and diverse locations make Virginia an ideal choice for the film industry. Many motion picture companies can look to Virginia over competing states now that we have a full-service studio to fulfill all of their filmmaking needs."
New Millennium Studios will create 100 jobs for Virginians, and will be constructed in three phases. During Phase I, a sound stage, covering nearly 15,000 square feet will be constructed, along with a 15-acre backlot. Post production facilities such as editing suites, computer animation and a music recording studio will also be completed as part of Phase I this June. Phase II will include two additional sound stages, a studio headquarters, a commissary, and an equipment building. Upon completion of Phase II during the summer of 1998, visitors will have the opportunity to visit the studio for guided tours. By the summer of 1999, New Millennium plans to have all phases complete and operational. Phase III consists of a support services complex, a transportation housing structure, a merchandising store and the two additional sound stages. A complete tourist center will also be added during this final phase.
"New Millennium Studios is a welcome addition to our city," said Petersburg Mayor Rosalyn Dance. "It will serve as an economic development catalyst not only for Petersburg, but for this region and the state as a whole. We look forward to a long, mutually beneficial relationship with Tim and Daphne Reid."
Tim Reid, the critically acclaimed producer, actor, director and Virginia native had envisioned New Millennium Studios for over a decade. "I recognized the need for a film studio in Virginia years ago. Varied climate and topography, beautiful scenery and historic architecture are only a few of the reasons film companies consider Virginia as an ideal location," said Reid. "I am very excited to come home to Virginia. New Millennium Studios is situated less than two hours from my home in Charlottesville. The support we've received from state government and the high-tech industry is phenomenal, and we anticipate many successes as the 'new millennium' approaches."
Tim Reid is best known for his roles in "WKRP in Cincinnati" and "Sister, Sister." His wife, veteran actress Daphne Maxwell Reid, achieved fame for her role on "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air." The Reids plan to establish a film school at New Millennium in cooperation with local colleges.
The Reids and Armada/Hoffler Holding Company will invest $11 million in the construction and launch of New Millennium Studios in Petersburg. Central Fidelity Bank was named the official construction lender and will provide permanent financing for the project.
The Virginia Film Office assisted the Reids with their decision to locate New Millennium Studios in the Commonwealth. Since the beginning of 1995, the Virginia Film Office has attracted seven feature films to the State including: "The Day of the Jackal," "G.I. Jane," "Kilronan," "First Kid," "The Shadow Conspiracy," "Virus," and Tim Reid's own production "Spirit Lost."
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