Country side show

Plan set for world's largest soundstage in Tenn.

Bastien and Associates Inc., the architect behind some of Hollywood’s newest soundstage facilities, including CBS Studio Center and Manhattan Beach Studios, is going country, with plans on designing the world’s largest soundstage in Nashville.

Banking on the recent building boom of soundstage construction, the Irvine-based company is set to design eight soundstages, including a mammoth 120,000-square-foot “super-stage,” production support offices with special effects and editing suites and backlot for a $1 billion, 1,000-acre entertainment complex in Tennessee, called MooneyLand, USA.

Independent filmmaker and financier Wayne Mooneyhan’s Mooneyhan Entertainment Corp., is funding the project, which is skedded for completion next year.

“Nashville has every part of the entertainment industry but a strong film industry,” Mooneyhan said. “It’s something that’s needed here.”

Opryland’s void

Designed to fill the void left by last year’s shuttering of Opryland, the new complex will include a music and film-themed amusement park, concert stages, restaurants and hotels on 900 acres, in addition to the $75 million studio on an additional 200 acres.

“This past year, Nashville has realized how important the Opryland park was to the economy,” Mooneyhan said. “Together with the studio, we’re creating two industries we think are needed in this area.”

Opryland is being turned into a shopping mall.

Fugelberg & Koch, which designed Universal Studios’ Orlando theme parks, among others, will design MooneyLand, to feature movie related rides and attractions. Patten Beers Construction, which most recently completed Walt Disney’s Animal Kingdom, will construct the park and break ground in February.

Dwarf other stages

Once built, the studio’s “superstage” will dwarf most industry stages that range from 18,000 to 30,000 square feet. The new stage will span 225 feet, rise 70 feet high and feature a retractable roof for natural light shooting and a water tank, according to Gary Bastien of Bastien and Associates. The other stages will average around 20,000 square feet.

Bastien is also readying plans for a 48,000 square foot stage, among others, at Icon Studios, planned to open in Phoenix next year. The company recently completed designs for the upcoming Los Angeles Center Studios and is at work on Phase II of Manhattan Beach Studios.

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