I lived in Louisiana until I was well in my twenties, and even reported on state politics there for a year, but I still had to look up the town of Robert on a map. The small town near Hammond has been known chiefly as a campground area ... until now. Louisiana Entertainment Associates announced on Tuesday plans to build a huge, elaborate movie studio complex in the area, which is equally convenient to New Orleans and Baton Rouge (about 50 miles away from either city).

The 150-acre Robert complex will include 250,000 square feet of sound stage and broadcast stage space, which will be completed before the other amenities: a film laboratory, a luxury hotel, condos, shops, and even a golf course. Alfredo Leone and Robert DeMilia, movie producers who founded Louisiana Entertainment Associates, want to finish the studio space by the end of the year. The rest of the ambitious project will take about three years to complete.

The idea is that this spiffy new studio complex will lure filmmakers from other states and even other countries to the Pelican State. I suppose I wasn't the only person to notice how well New Orleans-shot productions were faring at the box office, after all. Steven Seagal intends to film Prince of Pistols in New Orleans this year, but he may be too early to reap the benefits of the new studio complex. That is, assuming the complex is actually built. It seems that DeMilia and Danny Aiello united in 2002 to build a similar complex, Stapleton Studios, at Staten Island ... but arguments with New York City officials caused the plan to fail. Hopefully the complex in Robert will meet with better success.
categories Movies, Cinematical