Inside Plymouth Rock Studios
July 21 It’s been the buzz around the South Shore for several years now — with many asking the same question: When is Hollywood East going to be built and running? That question is inevitably followed by another two-fer — how can I get a job there, and what am I qualified to do? On a sunny Wednesday afternoon last week several key players at Plymouth Rock Studios, the production arm of Hollywood East, sat down to address those questions for this exclusive interview.
Plymouth studio hires 24 college interns
June 26 Plymouth Rock Studios and its nonprofit educational arm said they have hired 24 college interns – even though the company hasn’t broken ground yet on its proposed movie studio project in Plymouth.
Plymouth studio developers find alternative to state funding
June 12 The Plymouth Rock Studios movie project is moving ahead with private money after being denied economic development funding from the state.
Murray: Movie-studio funding not coming
June 10 Senate President Therese Murray said the state money holding up the Plymouth Rock Studios project isn’t coming through – not for the movie studio or any other state projects.
State bond funding decision holding up studio project
June 4 A decision on state bond funding is holding up the Plymouth Rock Studios project. Town meeting approval of the bond funding agreement was pulled from the June 1 warrant and rescheduled for a special town meeting June 29. Studio officials are hoping for a decision from state officials before then. They want to begin construction this summer for a late 2010 opening.
First local permit granted for $450 million Plymouth Rock Studios project
May 6 The Plymouth Planning Board has approved the master site plan for the Plymouth Rock Studios project. The development director for the company planning the project said he hopes that construction of an access road to the site will begin this summer.
STARSTRUCK: South Shore residents get bitten by the acting bug
April 17 Big screen dreams are on the rise on the South Shore, with film studios in the works in Weymouth and Plymouth and an uptick in the number of major motion pictures being filmed in the Boston area.
Plymouth Rock Studios begins permitting process
April 14 Plymouth Rock Studios has entered its official permitting process with last night’s first planning board public hearing.
Plot thickens for two South Shore movie studios
March 21 The proposed $500 million Plymouth Rock Studios and the $100 million SouthField Studios in Weymouth face a series of local permitting votes in the next few months.
Plymouth Rock Studios to hold acting forum
March 14 Plymouth Rock Studios will hold an acting forum on April 1 at Plymouth South High School.
Road improvements for studio project heading to town meeting
February 25 Access roads and traffic improvements to accommodate Plymouth Rock Studios sailed through two town boards this week with no dissension.
State environmental office clears plan for Plymouth Rock Studios road
February 12 The Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs has granted a final waiver for a proposed access road for Plymouth Rock Studios.
Plymouth film studio gets initial OK for access road
January 17 The Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs has granted a waiver to allow studio developers to design and construct the road before other environmental reviews are complete.
Studio and housing project loom off Route 3
January 13 Plymouth Rock Studios and River Run, two large development projects, are expected to break ground in the spring. Primary access for both projects is Route 3 at Exit 3. State highway officials are considering proposed highway exchange improvements.
Weymouth, Plymouth both hoping to have first movie production studio in the state
December 23 The race to have the first movie production studio in Massachusetts is on. Proponents say projects in two local towns, Plymouth and Weymouth, are poised for summer construction starts.
Plymouth studio project review gets under way
December 20 The Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act office held a public-comment session and a site walk to launch their formal review of the Plymouth Rock Studios proposal.
Studio execs team with MIT for high-tech production ideas
November 19 Telling stories the new-fashioned way. That’s the aim of a new collaboration between Plymouth Rock Studios and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Plymouth expects movie studio to create business surge
November 1 Economic Development Director Denis Hanks says he has received dozens of inquiries from various companies looking for office space in the studio complex building or in the downtown area.
Plymouth Rock Studios still has more hurdles
October 31 The studio still needs to secure financing in the capital markets and must work with state officials to secure $50 million promised for road improvements.
Plymouth town meeting approves $400 million studio project
October 28 Town meeting voters have approved zoning and tax agreements that would allow construction of a $400 million movie and television production studio on Long Pond Road.The project includes plans for 14 sound stages, a 10-acre back lot, a theater, a 300-room hotel in a small village center and an education center. It is planned for the site of the 240-acre Waverly Oaks golf course. Only three town meeting members opposed the zoning bylaw.
Plymouth voters to decide fate of proposed movie studio
October 24 Voters at town meeting must approve a zoning change and a 20-year property tax break agreement before developers can begin the permitting process for Plymouth Rock Studios on the Waverly Oaks golf course property.
Plymouth movie studio deal wins selectmen's approval
October 22 Last-minute objections from planning board member Lawrence Rosenblum did not stop selectmen from unanimously voting for an agreement with Plymouth Rock Studios. On Monday, town meeting will weigh in.
Plymouth Rock Studios official makes case
October 22 Joe DiLorenzo, a managing officer with Plymouth Rock Studios, took the project’s case before members of the South Shore Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday.
More than 1,000 flock to second Plymouth Rock Studios job presentation
October 16 Studio founders say theirs is a recession-proof industry that will bring thousands of construction, studio operation and movie production jobs to the South Shore.
Plymouth recommends property tax break for studio project
October 15 Town officials have negotiated a 75 percent property-tax break for the proposed Plymouth Rock Studios project.
Plymouth studio consultants predict millions in taxes, wages and fees
October 8 Consultants say the Plymouth Rock Studios project would create thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in tax revenue, all while putting minimal demands on town services.
No vacancy: Plymouth Rock Studio's Oct. 15 jobs forum is filled
October 8 Even though the company moved it to a more spacious venue, Plymouth Rock Studios’ Oct. 15 jobs forum is fully booked.
Studio officials confident of financing despite economic crisis
October 1 Plymouth Rock Studio officials remain confident they will be able to finance their $400 million production studio project amid the economic crisis.
Finance committee backs Plymouth studio zoning proposal
September 26 Plymouth Finance Committee members voted 12-1 to recommend that town meeting approve a zoning change to allow construction of a movie studio on what is now the Waverly Oaks Golf Club property. Town meeting action on the proposal is scheduled for Oct. 27.
Hundreds show up for studio job workshop
September 25 Plymouth Rock Studios may be fighting for a permit, but it won’t be fighting for a work force if the showing for a job fair is any indication. Nearly 1,000 people of all ages showed up Wednesday night for the first of three job fair workshops. The 400 available seats were filled before the 7 p.m. start time, leaving long lines of disappointed job hunters.
Planning board unanimously recommends movie studio bylaw
September 16 Unanimous planning board support for a movie and television production zone on the Waverly Oaks golf course property surprised many of the more than 100 residents who have followed the process for months.
Studio plans to host job workshops in Plymouth
September 10 As the zoning and permitting battles continue, Plymouth Rock Studios is pushing ahead with the educational component of its proposed movie and television production campus.
Studio supporters: Neighbors are trying to derail Plymouth project
September 9 During four hours of talk about design guidelines, building heights, size limits, noise, lights and other details, Plymouth Rock Studios supporters accused neighbors of trying to derail the project with delaying tactics.
Proposed zoning compromise eases opposition to studio
September 4 A zoning compromise has been reached that would allow Plymouth Rock Studios to build on the Waverly Oaks golf course in Plymouth while requiring a special permit process for road improvements to address neighbors’ concerns.
Residents grill studio consultant on proposed traffic remedies
August 28 Consultants say their suggested road improvements will accommodate anticipated traffic from Plymouth Rock Studios and other developments and solve existing problems at the Route 3 Exit 3 interchange and Clark Road/Long Pond Road intersection.
Plymouth Rock Studios wow planners and residents with landscape and design plans
August 26 Studio officials showed residents how 30 to 40 foot high, tree-lined earthen berms along Long Pond Road and Bump Rock Road would screen any view of studio sound stages and mute any noise from the studio production facilities.
Planning board members, public have first formal review of studio zoning proposal
August 21 Building heights, housing units, and including the public in a site plan process were among topics discussed in the planning board’s first public hearing on a proposed movie studio bylaw.
School chief lauds proposed movie studio project
August 20 Water, sewer, and traffic improvements coupled with educational programming make the Plymouth Rock Studios project a perfect fit for Plymouth schools, Superintendent Gary Maestas told selectmen and planning board members Tuesday night.
Plymouth planning officials to neighbors: Get involved
August 20 Studio officials say neighbors, and others with concerns about the development, should pick up the phone and call them.
Zoning clash brewing for studio project
August 19 Supporters and critics of a proposed movie studio zoning bylaw staged what may be a preview of a town meeting battle in October. Plymouth Rock Studios officials want a zoning change that would allow the studio to be built sooner on the 240-acre Waverly Oaks golf course.
Plymouth Rock Studios' future hinges on zoning change
August 16 Plymouth Rock Studios intends to build a major movie and television production studio in Massachusetts. The company’s preferred site is the Waverly Oaks golf course in Plymouth off Route 3 at exit 3, but the plan hinges on town meeting’s approval of a zoning change in October.
Critics sound off as planners hear studio proposal
August 12 Plymouth Rock Studios founder David Kirkpatrick walked out of a planning board meeting after hearing residents make several comments critical of the company’s handling of its movie studio proposal.
Studio officials want zoning change without special permits requirement
July 31 Plymouth Rock Studios officials say they will provide the details and infrastructure guarantees necessary to earn a zoning change without a special permit provision.
New site, same concerns over Plymouth film studio project
July 30 The site has changed, but concerns remained the same for residents living near a proposed movie and television production studio project. Traffic, noise, lighting and financial viability remained top concerns of residents living near the proposed project.
New review process set for studio project
July 15 Residents should know by the end of the month what Plymouth Rock Studios has in mind for its studio project at the Waverly Oaks Golf Club site. The company expects to have conceptual site plans and preliminary draft of a zoning bylaw ready by July 30.
Studio zoning change will wait for October town meeting
July 9 Plymouth Rock Studio officials have withdrawn their request for a September special town meeting, saying architects and engineers need more time to develop plans for the new site of the studio project at the Waverly Oaks Golf Club.
Patrick: Let cameras roll for Hollywood East
July 8 While touting a grant that will award Plymouth close to $1 million for road repairs, Gov. Deval Patrick said he believes Hollywood East will help boost Massachusetts’ place in the national spotlight.
Waverly Oaks owner: Tough decision to sell golf course for movie studio
July 4 If not for the movie studio project, Mark Ridder probably wouldn’t have sold his Waverly Oaks Golf Club.
Plymouth Rock Studios to buy Waverly Oaks golf course for movie studio project
July 3 Plymouth Rock Studios has struck a deal to buy Waverly Oaks Golf Club as the site for what it says will be a world-class movie and television production campus.
Pre-parade removal of Hollywood sign in Plymouth makes vets happy
July 3 The “Hollywood East” sign blocking war memorials on the courthouse lawn was to be removed Thursday, rather than Monday, in deference to veterans.
Hollywood East sign in Plymouth coming down in face to veterans opposition
June 30 Shortly after the Hollywood East sign went up Veterans Council members voted 20-0 to to take the sign down and abandon a plan to move the Vietnam and Korean War memorials from the courthouse lawn to Memorial Hall.
Locals, tourists get first look at Hollywood East sign, to mixed reactions
June 30 Many locals welcomed the most tangible sign to date of progress on the planned movie studio. Others were wary of what they viewed as a touristy gimmick out of kilter with the town’s historical charm.
Hollywood East sign placed on Plymouth Courthouse lawn
June 26 Blending the old and the new. That’s the idea behind placing the iconic Hollywood East sign on the 1820 Courthouse lawn downtown during the tourist season.
House Speaker throws his support behind film studio bill
June 6 Sal DiMasi’s support for the measure, which would provide a 20 percent tax credit for film studio construction, could prove crucial as the time runs out to get the bill passed this summer.
Plymouth Rock Studios narrow site search to three
June 5 Plymouth Rock Studios officials have narrowed their site search from 14 potential locations to three and expect to announce a decision within two weeks.
Plymouth Rock Studios Launches “Hollywood East” Broadband Channel with New England Talent
June 4 (BUSINESS WIRE) The new digital channel “Hollywood East,” goes live today on the web. The “Hollywood East” channel is a product of Plymouth Rock Studios which recently inked a deal with the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce for usage of the iconic “Hollywood” sign.
Middleboro officials say “welcome” to studio developers
May 30 Middleboro officials are hanging up the welcome sign in an effort to lure Plymouth Rock Studios from neighboring Plymouth.
Land ownership questions prompt Plymouth Rock Studio execs to look at alternative studio sites
May 28 The project is planned for 1,000 acres of town-owned land off Route 25, but question about property ownership could hold up the development Wynne said.
Iconic Hollywood sign comes east
May 24 Hollywood East is now more than just a catch phrase for the state’s budding entertainment production industry. Like its iconic West Coast namesake, it could soon be appearing on the Massachusetts landscape and may be used in print and on paraphernalia to promote filmmaking in the Bay State.
Weymouth studio exec fires back at Plymouth Rock Studios founder’s ‘copycat’ comment
May 23 What studio developers have planned for the former South Weymouth Naval Air Station has been in the works for years and has nothing to do with a similar project proposed in Plymouth, project founder Allan Kassirer said.
Movie studio officials set deadline for land deal
May 21 Plymouth Rock Studios have set a July 31 deadline for negotiating a land sale and say they will not participate in a public bidding process for the town-owned property.
Plymouth voters give thunderous ‘yes’ to movie studio project
May 12 After a home run at the polls for the proposed Plymouth Rock Studios project, town meeting is up to bat next on the project.
Planners back studio bylaw
May 7 Plymouth Rock Studios took another step forward Monday with planning board members recommending town meeting approve the board’s zoning bylaw for 1,000 town-owned acres eyed for the proposed movie and television production campus. The bylaw goes to selectmen and finance committee members before town meeting votes it June 9.
Air base developer wants a piece of studio action
May 2 The company redeveloping the South Weymouth Naval Air Station is likely to help finance the construction of a movie and television production facility proposed by a group of Hollywood producers
Studio zoning hearing begins in Plymouth
Apr. 29 Helicopter access, hotel heights, special permit authority, and defining the zoning area prompted the most debate during the planning board’s first public hearing on a proposed zoning bylaw for the proposed Plymouth Rock Studios project.
Studio officials press for support
Apr. 24 Three town boards had few questions for Plymouth Rock studio officials who say they need town meeting support to move forward with their proposed studio plans. A town meeting June 9 will face five requests on the movie studio project.
Movie studio bylaw ready for scrutiny
Apr. 18 A draft zoning bylaw that would allow a movie studio complex to be built on a portion of a 1,000-acre parcel of town-owned land off Route 25 is ready for review and discussion.
Can 2 local studios co-exist?
Apr. 17 Movie production studios proposed in Weymouth and Plymouth will complement rather than compete with each other, developers say.
Hundreds flock to ‘Yes to the Rock’ meeting in support of movie studio project
Apr. 16 Hollywood’s lure worked its charms on about 600 Plymouth residents who showed up Tuesday night to hear about a proposed movie studio.
Residents get first look at new Route 25 interchange options
Apr. 10 A proposed Route 25 highway interchange faces a lengthy permitting process, but residents, developers, and engineers basically agree on an initial design. The ramp would accommodate the proposed Plymouth Rock Studios project on 300 acres of a 1,000 acre parcel of town-owned property off Route 25.
‘We’re ready to go’ with movie studio
Apr. 10 A group of Hollywood-based investors has made it official: they plan to build a $300 million state-of-the-art movie making complex at the old South Weymouth Naval Air Station. But first, they want the state to give them more tax breaks.
Forum on Route 25 ramp, Plymouth studio plan
Apr. 8 Designs for a new Route 25 interchange near the Plymouth-Bourne border and a planned movie studio will be discussed at a meeting Wednesday night.
Legislators stump for studio project
Apr. 7 Jobs, tax revenues, and a recession-proof industry make State Senate President Therese Murray and State Rep Vinnie deMacedo bullish on Plymouth Rock Studios.
South Shore Chamber lobbies on behalf of Plymouth studio project
Mar. 27 The South Shore Chamber of Commerce’s board voted to recommend to Plymouth town meeting voters that they support a zoning change and land transfer necessary for the Plymouth Rock studio project.
Enterprise cars signs with proposed studio in Plymouth
Mar. 25 Enterprise Rent-A-Car has signed on as a “green alliance partner” with Plymouth Rock Studios and will offer hybrid rental cars for people who work at the proposed studio project in Plymouth.
Heated words on studio plan
Mar. 21 About 200 people, nearly all cheering for a proposed movie studio project, clashed Thursday night with a committee of 14 precinct chairmen.
International development company joins Plymouth Rock Studios
Mar. 20 A major California real estate development company has joined Plymouth Rock Studio’s construction team to help build the mixed-use studio complex proposed for 1,000 acres of town-owned land off Route 25.
A wish to replace Hollywood sleaze with art sparks business relationship
Mar. 20 It was the “Good News Holdings” business card that impressed Jeanette Wynne, who likes movies but has trouble finding ones appropriate for her school-age children.
Studio exec makes a union vow
Mar. 14 The proposed Plymouth Rock Studios project, if it is built, will be built with union labor, founder David Kirkpatrick Thursday promised.
Kirkpatrick promises to protect Plymouth’s rural charm
Mar. 8 Plymouth Rock Studios founder David Kirkpatrick says the studio project would have a stunning effect on local tourism.
South Shore has enjoyed rich history of theater
Jan. 29 The South Shore and Cape Cod have a rich history of theater arts, a bond that goes back to summer stock theater starting in the 1930s.
A major film studio in Plymouth could play huge economic role
Jan. 28 A major movie studio in Plymouth could generate as many as 2,000 well-paying jobs and stimulate the tourism and service industries in the region, potentially becoming the largest private employer in the Plymouth area.
South Shore tradespeople prepared for movie studio
Jan 28 Bring it on, say the local carpenters, actors and technicians who hope to work there.
Is Plymouth Rock the reel deal or a pipe dream?
Jan. 26 Film industry veterans see the 1,000 wooded acres in the middle-of-nowhere as the perfect spot for a 1 million-square-foot, $300 million film studio complex. Is it just a Hollywood dream?
Getting their chance: 300 turn out to hear about studio plans
Jan. 23 Nearly 300 Plymouth residents were presented with information and the chance to ask questions about the Plymouth Rock Studio project on Tuesday during a presentation at Plymouth South Elementary School.
Hollywood East: SouthField eyed
Jan. 17 The former director of the state Sports and Entertainment Commission and a group of Hollywood studio executives are negotiating with the developer of the former South Weymouth Naval Air Station to build a movie and television production complex on the property.