AIP Studios has been renamed West Side Studios in a move signaling the company’s intent to produce more mainstream movies following what David Winters, its chairman of the board, termed “a major infusion of production funds.”

Consequently, the Culver City-based indie producer/distribber is “no longer going to do the low-budget pictures” that AIP has been noted for, per Diane Daou , exec VP, WSS.

Daou said “Night Trap,” starring Robert Davi and Michael Ironside, the first pic under the new West Side moniker, is a $ 3.5 million production representing the company’s largest budgeted production to date. Pic premieres today at the AFM.

“Night Trap” was directed and written by David Prior, one of two former partners in AIP who Winters bought out in January 1992. WSS says it has skedded five other pics for production by early ’94 that it plans to produce via private coin as well as co-financing arrangements by which WSS will retain the rights to foreign markets.

Winters said he chose West Side Studios as the new name because of his past associations with “West Side Story.” He played A-Rab in the feature film and Baby-John on the Broadway stage.

Divisions under the WSS umbrella include West Side Studios Home Video and AIP Home Video; West Side Studios Distribution; West Side Studios Productions and West Side Studios Theatrical Distribution.

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