A film production company has announced plans to buy Staten Island’s shuttered Arthur Kill Correctional Facility and turn it into the borough’s first movie studio. Broadway Stages, which operates a total of 27 sound stages in Brooklyn and Queens, has agreed to pay the state $7 million for the prison and will put another $20 million into the facility. The correctional facility, which at one point housed more than 900 prisoners, was closed in 2011 as part of a statewide effort to cut down on prisons. It will not meet the wrecking ball, however, as Broadway Stages plans to keep all the former jail buildings for future film scenes. They will also build five sound stages on the 69-acre property.
Former ideas for repurposing the closed prison have included turning into a retail center or a college campus. Staten Island politicians seem pretty happy with this outcome, though, which they say will create 1,500 jobs over the next five years, more than three times the number of people employed by the prison when it closed.