On June 1, 2008, a three alarm fire broke out at Universal Studios Hollywood, destroying New York Street, the King Kong theme park attraction and a video vault. In response, the entertainment community rallied together and assembled a world-renowned creative team to rebuild what had been lost. Jim Watters, President & General Manager of NBC Universal Operations Group, and Dave Beanes, Senior Vice-President of NBC Universal Production Services were joined by esteemed film legend Steven Spielberg, production designers, and Rick Carter (Academy Award winner for Avatar) to be a part of the design process. The team quickly expanded to a list of twenty-five award-winning production designers and graphic artists that collaborated, designed and rebuilt the legendary Hollywood fixture.
The finished product, which will be completed on June 30 and includes a New York block with a glass and steel look, Paris Square, London Square and Central Park, will usher in a new era for the Universal Studio Hollywood Studio Tour. The upgraded Studio Tour has been upgraded with high-definition TV monitors in each tram car, new video content and high-grade digital audio systems and will provide guests with a more in-depth behind-the-scenes look at the film and television industry than ever before.
As for King Kong, the attraction was moved to expand the location and provide additional production parking. The new King Kong 360-3D attraction created by award-winning director Peter Jackson will open this summer and will be the world’s largest and most intense 3D interactive theme park experience!