'Narnia,' 'Babylon A.D.' to be first to use facility

Prague’s Barrandov Studios execs were looking visibly relieved at the opening of their new $9 million soundstage Monday, just in time for “The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian” to move in for six months.

Pic, which will also shoot at several Czech locations, will share the space with Vin Diesel sci-fi actioner “Babylon A.D.,” making use of high-tech soundproof dividers that can break up the facility into three smaller stages.

Barrandov board chairman Tomas Chrenek called the new studios, nicknamed Max, “the most extensive investment the Czech film industry has seen in the past 60 years.”

Barrandov is owned by Moravia Steel, which, in the past, has been accused of not knowing what to do with one of Central Europe’s most popular shooting facilities.

But it would seem the company is gearing up to compete aggressively with rivals to the east for more big-budget projects, boosting Prague’s capacity significantly with the expansion.

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