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Astoria Tinseltown to Close City Block, Open Outdoor Studio

Kaufman Astoria Studios in Queens has announced plans to open an outdoor movie set on 36th Street between 34th and 35th Aves. this summer, an expansion that's been almost a decade in the making. That's good news not only for the studio itself, but for the rest of the city (except people who were hoping to find parking in that part of Astoria), as the hope is that the outdoor set will partially supplant the need for location filming on regular city blocks, which usually ties up traffic and creates a general nuisance for people just trying to go about their business. The outdoor set isn't the only bit of news coming out Kaufman Astoria, either, as the idea of a luxury hotel behind the soundstage, which was floated the last time the studio expanded, is still hovering around, with a few minor variations (the plan originally called for a hotel and office space; now it's a hotel and a fancy restaurant.) The studio is also considering building condos or rental apartments in the vicinity, the Daily News reports. Having already invigorated the neighborhood, the next step in Kaufman Astoria's master plan appears to be to become the neighborhood.
· Kaufman Astoria Studios plans to open outdoor studio this summer [NYDN]
· Queens Loses a Street and Gains a Slice of Hollywood [NYT]
· Kaufman Astoria Studios coverage [Curbed]
Rendering by Rockwell Group/Archtagon