British Columbia sells off Bridge Studios


CALGARY, Alberta -- The British Columbian government said Thursday that it has sold the six-stage Bridge Studios complex in suburban Vancouver to local real estate developer Larco Investments.

Larco paid CAN$40 million ($37.4 million) for the film and TV studio in Burnaby, where recent projects include shoots for "Night at the Museum," "Final Destination 3" and the "Fantastic Four" franchise.

Larco, which already owns and operates a major shopping mall in Burnaby, intends to continue Bridge Studios as a film and TV production facility.

The British Columbian government, which built the studio 19 years ago to stimulate the local film and TV production sector, signaled last year that it wanted to get out of the studio business.

Vancouver alone has about 30 quality sound stages routinely filled with Hollywood shoots, including the Mammoth Studio and Vancouver Film Studios, allowing the provincial government to give way to the private sector.

"Private industry is best equipped to maintain and operate production facilities of the level and expertise of Bridge Studios," said Stan Hagen, B.C.'s tourism, sports and arts minister.