TUCSON (KVOA) — For the better part of a century, dating back to the silent film era, Old Tucson was a place of refuge for movies and the big crews both on and off camera that come with them.
“This region is really helping, I think, to catapult the film industry when it was in its infancy in this country with our exotic and fantastical magical landscapes,” said Laura Funkhouser Cortelyou, head of the tourism, marketing and development office. cinema in the city of Marana.
Recently, tax credits in New Mexico, Georgia and some other states have lured Hollywood productions and studios away from this part of the desert.
Currently, Senate Bill 1708 sponsored by Republican David Gowan of Sierra Vista seeks to revive a piece of Arizona’s past.
Last fall, HBO shot the Duster pilot in Tucson. Film Tucson director Peter Catalanotte said one project earned the city $10 million.
“The more film productions we get outside of Tucson, the more money is pumped into our economy and the more Tucson prospers,” Catalanotte said. “After HBO finished its first episode here, we started getting calls from other interested parties, something from Netflix, something from FX. They want to come to Arizona but they have to find a way to make up for the costs of leaving California and state incentives would do that.”
Under the new legislation, a movie could get a 27.5% tax refund on production costs if the studio or company spends more than $35 million in the state of Arizona.
The bill passed the state senate and is now going home.
Cortelyou imagines the possibilities of a vibrant, once again, movie scene in Tucson.
“It would boost our economy, create incredible opportunities for our kids who are in school now, in college now so they can stay here,” she said. “So they can expect different kinds of jobs for different skill sets and different talents.”
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