SEATTLE — Inside a mostly unused warehouse between SODO and West Seattle, King County is investing in a plan to lure Hollywood productions to Seattle.
"We don’t want to watch anymore films about Seattle when we recognize the streets on screen being Vancouver or Portland, or heaven forbid, Atlanta," said King County Executive Dow Constantine during a tour of the new Harbor Island Studios on Saturday.
The studio is a $1.5 million county project to renovate what was once the Fisher Flour Mill on Harbor Island into a state of the art 117,000 square foot soundstage.
"Since Northern Exposure wrapped in 1995 we have not had an available stage for productions to shoot in and that’s why we’ve seen productions that are set in Seattle go to other states to shoot and to other countries to shoot, and it’s been very frustrating," said actress Cynthia Geary, a cast member on "Northern Exposure."
"Northern Exposure" and the iconic Seattle film, "Sleepless in Seattle" starring Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks, are just two major productions shot in what was once a competitive region for filmmaking.
Constantine now wants to bring Hollywood back.
"We are going to be focusing Kate’s efforts and my efforts on making sure that we are teaming with the State and with the 39 cities in our jurisdiction to provide the economic incentives that filmmakers need to put people back to work here," said Constantine.
It's a plan officials said will produce hundreds of family wage union jobs, from carpenters to electricians, and are already working with a major production set to start shooting next week.
"It’s so exciting for me to see this facility because I know that this facility will be so good for our local businesses. Local businesses and film production," Geary said.