Superstar solution for white elephant studios

AMERICAN superstar director Francis Ford Coppola could be riding to the rescue of Alicante’s white elephant film studios.

But the catch is the Valencian taxpayer faces a massive loss on the project – potentially up to €194 million.

The Ciudad de la Luz (City of Light) was closed down after the European General Court declared a €274 million investment in the project by the Valencian Regional Government to be illegal and anti-competitive. The regional government, which had ended up owning the studios, was told to reclaim its money. That left little option other than to put the studios up for sale in a bid to recoup the money.

Now an American investment group, led by director Francis Ford Coppola, and featuring several companies, has reportedly put in an offer to take on the complex and its €80 million debt. But it is unclear whether they would pay any extra money, or just take on the debt.

The regional government has admitted that it has little chance of getting back its original investment as all it could hope for was the market rate for the complex.

The studios, which closed in February 2013, have seen 60 films made there, and were recently declared the best in the world by Blade Runner director Ridley Scott. He criticised the closure of the studios saying it made no sense.

Coppola himself is aware of the possibilities of the Ciudad de la Luz, having used the facilities in 2008 for a few weeks during filming of Tetro. 

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