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Could Sacramento's Cal Expo one day be home to a film studio?

Sacramento filmmaker pitches turning Cal Expo into film studio
Sacramento filmmaker pitches turning Cal Expo into film studio 01:51

SACRAMENTO — Could Sacramento one day be home to a film studio? One group is hoping to bring it to a familiar capital region staple.

Nick Leisure has been making movies for a long time.

"It's important to me to do more films in my hometown," he said. "I've told a lot of Sacramento stories outside of Sacramento."

Along with a new group of investors, Leisure wants to bring cinema back to the capital region.

"I am confident that if we get movie activity here in Sacramento, it's going to take Sacramento off like a rocket like it did Los Angeles in the 1940s," said real estate mogul Russ Wyluda.

Why does Wyluda feel that way?

"We have the space that L.A. once had, and so we can expand into that space," he said. "We can do back lots in Cal Expo that they can't even do in L.A. anymore."

The group, dubbed the Hollywood North Film Studio Project, sent their proposal to the Cal Expo Board of Directors last week.

"If all goes well and we have an aggressive timeline, it would be 10-plus years," said Suzanne Fox with Hollywood North. "We'd do it in phases with the first phase being the soundstages."

Hollywood North Film Studio Project

The group hopes those could come online by 2026.

"My crew comes from Los Angeles, and when they come up from Los Angeles, they say 'I didn't realize how easy it is to shoot in Sacramento,' " Leisure said.

He, like many other creatives, hopes to make Sacramento into a new culture hub that can make the expo a year-round facility.

"We have to continue to create more films in Sacramento, build a studio where we can start funneling films through it," Leisure said.

The proposal details that up to 3,000 new jobs could be created in the area.

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