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New film studio adds to Louisiana sound stage space

New OrleansStarlight Studios has opened as the latest production facility in Louisiana, offering a pair of large sound stages in New Orleans.

The $12.5m resource has taken a year to build and also offers office and warehouse space, as well as a back lot.

Additional sound stages will be built over the next two to four years to expand what is now the largest studio in New Orleans, according to local media outlet the Times-Picayune. 

Development of Starlight Studios was delayed when Louisiana’s filming incentive programme was capped for the first time in 2015. 

Just in the last few weeks, uncertainty about the future of the incentive programme – which was set to expire next year – has been stabilised with a mulit-year extension, albeit with an annual cap of $150m.

"The legislation in 2015 provided some uncertainty in the industry that certainly affected us," said Billy Burk, president of Starlight Studios, in comments to the Times-Picayune. 

"We are very pleased to have the stability and the assurance, and the certainty that we need as an industry to move forward in the state of Louisiana.”

The southern state has recently hosted high-profile features including X-Men spinoff Logan, Tom Cruise’s action thriller Jack Reacher: Never Go Back and disaster movie Geostorm. 

Starlight Studios could help boost Louisiana’s Hollywood appeal, which has waned a little in the past couple of years. 

Just six of the best-performing US movies released theatrically in 2016 filmed in the state, according to a May report from FilmLA, settling Louisiana in a distant fifth place behind Georgia, the UK, Canada and California.  

For more on filming in Louisiana see our production guide.

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