2016 has already been a very big year for Universal Studios Hollywood. The park opened its grandest, most immersive new area in its long history with The Wizarding World of Harry Potter back in April, and next month will see the new walk-through horror maze The Walking Dead Attraction delivering scares to guests on a permanent basis.
But of course, with all this recent success, Universal has something even bigger up its sleeve for its original Hollywood theme park. In an exclusive story with Variety today, the company’s executives announced a five-year plan to continue expansion of the boundaries of the park into the lower lot area, and to relocate some of Universal’s storied production soundstages to a further corner of the backlot area.
From the Variety article:
Universal plans to remove 13 stages from the front lot, on the northwest side of Universal, to make way for future theme park expansion. The studio ultimately will have four fewer stages but, because the new facilities will be larger in size, a gain of about 11,000 square feet for production, a studio spokeswoman said.
Stage 28, built in 1924, already has been demolished, but the studio has preserved what was inside: The 91-year-old set of the silent film “Phantom of the Opera.” The studio would like to place it in a prestigious facility like the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, currently under construction.
Of course, Universal has not yet announced what new attractions might fill the valuable new theme park space that will be created for the famously-cramped park at the top of the hill in Universal City, but odds are it will tie in to one of the company’s famous franchises, or perhaps involve a long-rumored expansion to the still brand-new Wizarding World. Only time will tell, and we’ll just have to wait for Universal to make another official announcement about their future plans!