In a dignitary display that gained resonance against the backdrop of troubled economic times, Eastman Kodak Co. broke ground yesterday on an $ 8.5 million Motion Picture Service and Distribution Center in Hollywood.

Construction on the 84,000-square-foot Motion Picture Service and Distribution Center was viewed as a shot-in-the-arm for the bedraggled Hollywood business district.

Located on Las Palmas Avenue, near Santa Monica Boulevard, the distribution center is a three-story building that will house a film preservation vault, a Cinesite digital film center and a consolidated distribution center.

Los Angeles Councilman John Ferraro said the Kodak groundbreaking was an important sign of expansion at a time when many businesses and people are “moving out of the city and out of the state.” When completed, the center will add 24 permanent jobs to the area.

Outgoing Motion Picture and Television Imaging veepee and general manager Joerg D. Agin said the expanded distribution operations “are an indication of the health of the industry, (which) will continue to grow and will continue to grow here” in Hollywood, where George Eastman first established a beachhead 65 years ago.

Also present at the ceremony was Kodak’s new general manager of its Motion Picture and Television Imaging unit Henri-Dominique Petit, who will take the operational reins from Agin around the end of the year. As previously reported, Agin has taken a high-ranking technologies job with Universal (Daily Variety, Oct. 16).

In addition to the groundbreaking, Kodak unvieled a new film stock, the color intermediate EXR 5244, which the company said promises to deliver a release print that is closer to the original negative.

This is the first new intermediate film since 1989.

John Evan Frook

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