Costa Blanca’s version of “Hollywood”, Ciudad de la Luz, just south of Alicante is for sale at auction after having been closed since 2012.
The Film City opened in 2005 until it was closed in May 2012. 60 movies where recorded here, both Spanish and international productions. The Film City received many positive reviews from star directors like Francis Ford Coppola and Ridley Scott.
The reason for the closure was not that the project made a loss but it was a requirement from the EU. Valencia’s authorities had mistakenly subsidized the buildings with 274 million Euro and thus violated EU’s competition rules. The erroneous funding in 2007 was notified to the European Commission by Pinewood Studios in London (franchisee of James Bond). The European Commission concluded that the irregular subsidies threatened the entire market for film productions in Europe.
On January 29th this year, the European Commission presented the conditions for a sale. The Commission has set up a condition that the buildings have to be sold to the highest bidder. The decision is now followed up by the regional government in the Valencia region. They have recently announced the film city for sale, either as a single unit or divided into six parts. Ciudad de la Luz has studios totaling 11,000 square meters, equipped with the latest technology, warehouses and workshops of over 15,000 square meters, 16 acres of grounds for filmmaking. In addition there are three buildings with dressing rooms, make-up studios, hair studios, offices and all other support services for a film production.
But unlike many other Spanish “grandiose projects,” such as airports without flights, trains without passengers etc. – it seems like Ciudad de la Luz has the potential to not only survive, but also might have a very bright future.
Film director Francis Ford Coppola, who is behind the “Godfather Trilogy” and “Apocalypse Now” and Fred Fuchs, head of Coppola’s “Zoetrope studios”, has formed a consortium of filmmakers from the United States. They’re going to try to buy the whole project and use it to produce some fifty films and television series per year.
Spanish newspapers do not think that Valencia will succeed in selling Ciudad de la Luz for as the city is simply not worth the minimum amount of € 265 million that has been decided by the EU commission. But the international press believes that the price is within the budget of the Coppola consortium, and that they will give Valencia Government: “An offer they can’t refuse.”