Destination: Freeway Park

Universal ups back lot value

Freeway Park, Universal’s latest back lot addition, has all the charm of Everytown, USA. Constructed for Will Ferrell’s “Kicking and Screaming,” the five-acre location includes a tree-lined street, soccer field, baseball diamond, bleacher seating and all the associated park structures,.

“We’re aggressively trying to create new locations to counter the myriad suburban restrictions we sometimes encounter,” says Dave Beanes, senior VP of production services, referring to restrictive shooting hours and complaining residents.

Elm Street, created two years ago for “The Hulk,” is a residential back lot with six full-size houses on a street that looks like Pasadena. Here, productions are free to stage car chases and gun fights without fighting municipal red tape.

“Back lots afford our customers more control,” adds Beanes.

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