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The latest news and announcements from Mayor London N. Breed

Mayor London Breed Announces Reopening of Treasure Island Filming Space

Reopening of Hangar 3 as a stage space on Treasure Island will create jobs and boost positive economic impact for small businesses and residents

San Francisco, CA — Mayor London N. Breed and the San Francisco Film Commission (Film SF) today announced the reopening of a 79,000 square foot space for film production at Hangar 3 on Treasure Island, in partnership with Film Treasure Island / Cinelease, Inc. The dedicated space allows for production companies to stage, build sets, and film in San Francisco. Film Treasure Island / Cinelease, Inc. negotiated with Treasure Island Development Authority to lease the hangar in order to provide a dedicated home for the film industry, bring economic opportunities to local businesses, and create jobs for residents.

“This reopened space will make it easier and more convenient for television and movie productions to film throughout San Francisco and we’re excited to see the productions that come out of this facility,” said Mayor Breed. “Attracting filming to San Francisco will benefit our entire economy and local workforce, while also showcasing the beauty and diversity of our neighborhoods, parks and landmarks.”

Film productions often need 20,000 to 40,000 square feet of stage space with ceiling heights of more than 25 feet in order to build their sets. In San Francisco, the tight real estate market makes it difficult to secure a large space for film and television production. The new space, called Film Treasure Island, is 300 feet long by 230 feet wide, with a ceiling height of up to 75 feet, and will provide much needs space for production companies. The space can accommodate scenery for a feature film or television series that needs multiple standing sets or large-scale commercial productions. Film Treasure Island is comparable to the large stages in Los Angeles.

“Film Treasure Island is a real plus for San Francisco. Productions that are filmed here hire local crews and in turn spend locally on the goods and services that support our small business community,” said Susannah Robbins, Executive Director of Film SF. “This warehouse and our incentives will help us compete with other major cities around the country as we focus to attract more films to the City.”

In addition to this new space, the City offers incentives for companies to film in San Francisco. Created in 2006, the Scene in San Francisco Film Rebate Program gives qualifying productions a dollar-for-dollar refund of fees or payroll taxes for use of City property, equipment, employees, and/or permit fees for film production in the City. To complement the rebate program, the City has a vendor discount program where businesses sign up to offer discounts to production companies and staff while encouraging them to shop locally.

According to Film SF, film productions have hired thousands of local crew and actors, and for each dollar rebated, productions have spent $15.58 locally. The economic impacts have resulted in the hiring of more than 15,000 people, including members of International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local 16, Teamsters 2785, and the Screen Actors Guild.

“Having a stage space where productions can build sets is key to attracting long-term productions to base in San Francisco. We’re excited to enter into this agreement with the Treasure Island Development Authority and look forward to bringing more TV and film productions to the area,” said Mark Walter, Manager of Studio Development for Cinelease, Inc.  “Our long-term goal is to couple the Hangar and support space with purpose-built sound stages that would complement any new development on the Island. Historically, when we have developed studio projects, the surrounding area sees an increase in tax revenue along with job creation in different fields and property values skyrocket as well.”

Hangar 3 was active in the 90s and early 2000s with films such as Mrs. Doubtfire, Bicentennial Man, Flubber, Patch Adams, Rent, and Hemingway & Gellhorn. These films used Hangar 3 as a stage space to build sets that were used during filming. The last large production which used the hangar was Hemingway & Gellhorn in 2010. Since then, the hangar has been used by companies as a staging area for large fabrication and construction projects. Recently, The Last Black Man in San Francisco and Jexi were filmed in San Francisco and utilized Film SF’s Rebate Program.

“As an art director based in San Francisco, I am continually working on productions that only shoot locations here and build their sets elsewhere,” said local art director Michael Goldman. “The new stage on Treasure Island will change all that. It is comparable to any of the large stages in Los Angeles or any other big film production city. This is a huge windfall for film production in San Francisco and I am very excited to build there.”

“Being back on Treasure Island in Hangar 3 gives us a place to bring in the biggest of film projects” says local construction coordinator, Ben Nichols. “After almost 30 years in the Bay Area Film industry I can say without a doubt that having a stage on Treasure Island will help bring in big budget films and pump money into our local economy. When I have access to a space like Building 3, I’m able to hire dozens of carpenters and painters to build amazing sets for film and pump millions into the local economy.” 

The first production to use Hangar 3 will be a project by Sony Pictures called Fillmore. They are scheduled to begin shooting in San Francisco in February. Film Treasure Island and Film SF are currently marketing the hangar to secure future productions.

About the Film Commission (Film SF)

Film SF is part of the Office of Economic and Workforce Development that inspires, attracts and supports creative productions in San Francisco. Film SF provides hands on permitting to a wide variety of projects, ranging from student films and still photography to feature films and television series. Its mission is to ensure that every production has a successful shoot in our cinematic city while creating economic and workforce opportunities for local small businesses and residents.