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Kearns Organizing Foundation for New Kaufman Astoria Arts District

March 26, 2014

In connection with the City Council’s plans to declare Kaufman Astoria Studios the centerpiece of a new arts district, the New York Times published a story on the Studio’s rich history. The first studio and stage was built in 1918. The Studio was home to the lavish resort created for the Marx Brothers’ film The Cocoanuts, but when most movie production moved to Hollywood in the 1930s, the U.S. Army acquired the studio to make training films and record inspirational speeches from generals. The federal government then leased the Studio to the City, which gave a 99-year lease for the Studio to Olshan client George Kaufman and his partners. Since then, Kaufman Astoria Studios has been home to The Cosby Show, Sesame Street and Nurse Jackie, and scenes from films such as The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 and The Bourne Legacy have been shot there. Olshan Partner Thomas Kearns represents Kaufman Astoria Studios and, with assistance from Barry Salkin and Wendy Bloom, will set up the foundation under which the arts district will be established.

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