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Repurpose Project Underway on Sony Pictures Lot

New building will replace the Scenic Dock 5 building

Dolores Quintana

On the Sony lot, new construction has begun around the historic Scenic Arts Building from the 1930s as reported by Urbanize Los Angeles. This is an adaptive reuse project that will transform what is considered a “functionally obsolete” building into “an innovative hub for Sony Pictures employees and visitors.”

Obviously, with the advent of CGI, scenic painting is something of a lost art within the filmmaking community. George Gordon was the scenic painter who “perfected” the art’s techniques on the Sony lot in the Scene Arts Building. 

The new building will replace the Scenic Dock 5 building that was demolished to build a new office building. According to the Conformance Review in 2021, “The upper floor of the Scenic Arts building will be transformed into a unique multipurpose space with varied functionality, ensuring its continued relevance and durability for years to come.” The plans mean to take advantage of the large open space on the upper floor where scenic backdrops were painted. On the environmental side, the adaptive reuse plan will add a “New 80 kW solar panel system will be installed at the new roof offsetting the building and lot’s energy use for long-term sustainability and a climate-friendly development.”

The plan for the ground floor space since it is close to the Overland entrance which is “immediately adjacent to the Overland Avenue parking structure turnstiles, offers the perfect location. Paired with the waiting area is a merchandise space for guests to visit as they wait. The merchandise program will provide the option for visitors to purchase Sony souvenirs and apparel.” Since studio audiences enter through the Overland gate and frequently have to wait outside of the Scenic Arts Building, the idea is to use that ground floor space as an indoor waiting area with a gift shop which would facilitate the purchase of studio merchandise for any studio audience members who would wish to do so. 

The “Expendables program in the office building addition will provide a convenient location for employees to grab a snack or acquire supplies for any production needs.”

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