Sunday, 4 October 2009

Stone Street Studios renovating?

I've been hanging onto this story for a little while, to see if I find some more details about it but I've got nothing so far.

In short, I was up on top of a certain hill last week on the 18th of September, and couldn't help noticing that one of the large sheds on Peter Jackson's Stone Street Studios (where LOTR was filmed) has been pulled down, and the concrete floor seemed to be being repoured or something. I took a quick photo of it at the time, and was looking for information about what was going on there, but I've been drawing a blank so far.

This photo faces East, for reference to the Google Map, which faces North

As you can see from the Google Maps satellite photos taken earlier this year, the big white shed was still intact not so long ago.

View Larger Map

It's getting a little hard to ignore though. I was driving towards Miramar today, and saw a rather large crane, parked on what I assumed must be the top of the hills surrounding Miramar but which turned out to be actually at ground level behind the hill, making for a rather large crane indeed. So I drove around the front of the studios again, and here's what I found:

As you can see, one enormous crane, apparently (according to one source) the largest currently in New Zealand. The four struts on the right are large concrete pillars, and look like they will be the support pillars for a huge new sound stage perhaps.

The large concrete building behind the pillars is Stage "K", at one time the third largest sound stage in the world, fully soundproof, and custom built for "King Kong" (which is what the "K" stands for - a smaller one not in this picture is called stage "R" for "Rings").

I don't have any solid facts yet - it looks like vast sums of money are being spent in preparation for a big movie - I'm assuming it's for The hobbit obviously. Perhaps it will be called Stage "H".

Let me know your thoughts - or better yet, if you have the facts, let's have those!

  - Jack M.


  1. I have nothing of substance to add, only a little feedback.

    Cool! Wow, that is an enormous crane. And from the size of the pillars, they might use the subsequent building/sound stage "H" for making giant mountains in which a certain dragon may reside. ;-)

    Thanks for the tidbits!

  2. Sorry, no info.

    But all I can say is WOW! Just hearing about that makes my anticipation & excitment fly!

  3. Can't 2011/2012 get here any faster????????????

  4. Hey I'm in wellington ! And I constat the building of Stone Street Studio too !
    That's great !I'm here to work on this new shoting starting in March !(hopefully)
    Hope to see you somwhere !

  5. Oooh awesome... so things ARE prepping up for The Hobbit :)

  6. Ok, we know canned dwarves in barrels are pretty heavy stuff, but that crane seems a bit excessive. It could hang Morgoth himself by his iron crown!

    Jack, thanks for the report!

  7. Cool! I don't know if you still remember me but you were our tourguide around eastertime this year. You said you planned to set up an online Lord of the Rings shop. So anything?

  8. Thanks all for your comments!

    @ Anonymous:
    Not only will 2011/2012 not get here faster, we actually have to wait until the END of 2011... so two years, not one! :(

    @ Eädil:
    What's your email address? I'd love to get in touch with anyone local who's into LOTR!

    @ Gustaf D.:
    Still working on starting up that online shop - I'll be sure to annouce it as it happens. Please continue to be patient! :)

    - Jack M.

  9. Hey. I just want to point something out. If you download Google Earth and zoom in on Stone Street Studios and then up at the top you'll see an option to change the date of the photography. Change it to the most recent photograph and you'll see the sound stage fully rendered and complete. :)

  10. Justin:

    Hey, cool, you're right!

    Also, if you look back through the years, you'll see an odd shape in the main car park in the back of where now the green/blue screen is set - the weird shape was the Mumak's harness/saddle.

    - Jack