Gemma Martini of Martini Film Studios said the first phase of the new project will be ready to open on May 1.

Film studio complex opens in Walnut Grove

The Martini Film Studio is opening in a former window factory in North Langley.

The newest addition to Walnut Grove’s industrial district won’t be making roof trusses or steel pipe it will be producing film and TV.

The eight-stage, three-studio complex of Martini Film Studios is officially opening this week, and will be ready to host its first productions by May 1, said Gemma Martini.

An actress, director, and producer, Martini’s family owned and operated Starline Windows out of the complex in the 19700 block of 96th Avenue for years.

When they moved the window manufacturing to Campbell Heights, they had a number of offers for the old factory buildings including offers of purchase.

But then the idea of turning the facility into a full-service film studio came up.

“It was the most interesting thing that came across the table,” said Martini, who will be heading up the new venture.

Work was still frantically underway at the site this week. It’s been less than a year since the Martinis teamed up with local lighting and film industry supply firm, MBS Equipment, to build the new studios.

In total there will be three studios, one in each of the three buildings, with a total of eight separate, soundproofed stages spread across them, Martini said.

The facility will include 150,000 square feet of filming space and another 100,000 square feet of office and support space.

To make the change from window factory to dream factory, the buildings had to be stripped to the walls, extensively rewired, soundproofed, insulated, and air conditioned. The attached offices were also completley renovated, Martini said.

So far as she’s aware, it’s the largest complete film studio complex this far east into the Lower Mainland. Other facilities are based in Vancouver, North Vancouver, and Burnaby.

That doesn’t mean Langley has no studio space. Port Kells and Gloucester Industrial Park have already played host to several productions, in renovated warehouses.

But this one will be large enough to run three TV series, concurrently, said Martini.

It’s also within the zone where the regional film tax credits kick in. The province gives a slightly larger tax break to productions that film farther from Vancouver, in a bid to spread the industry around the province. In the last budget, the province announced that as of Jan. 25, 2017, the boundary will move from 200th Street to 196th Street the actual border between the Langleys and Surrey.

“At the end of the day, I think it makes it attractive [to production companies],” said Martini.

The first studio building is set to open May 1, followed by the second and third on June 1.

At that point, they expect to see some TV or film productions start making use of the new space.

“There’s a lot of demand,” said Martini.

It remains to be seen which companies and TV shows may want to locate in Langley.

“Everything happens very last minute with these productions,” Martini said.

Val Gafka, Langley Township’s senior manager of corporate administration, was pleased to see the studio set to open.

It helps diversify the local film sector, rather than have the bulk of it based in brief film shoots on location.

“We’re actually seeing the investment in production facilities out here, which is wonderful,” Gafka said.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

WEATHER: Showers in the forecast for Langley

Rain is expected to begin Tuesday afternoon

Council gives thumbs up to Aldergrove core development

The multi-phased project could receive final approval soon

Former Langley resident and country musician embarks on cross-province tour

Kellen Saip will perform at the Water Shed Arts Cafe on March 13

Langley teens spread the love to residents at Langley Memorial Hospital

R.E. Mountain Secondary students gifted teddy bears

Anson Yu, an R.E. Mountain Secondary student in Langley, recognized as a Loran Scholar

Yu was one of 36 recipients of the four-year undergraduate award and one of six from B.C.

VIDEO: Illicit drug overdoses killed 981 in B.C. in 2019, down 38%

Chief coroner says figures were down about a third in the province’s fourth year of the opioid crisis

UPDATE: Protesters dismantle blockade on Maple Ridge tracks

West Coast Express train service is expected to run again Tuesday morning

VIDEO: B.C.’s seventh coronavirus patient at home in Fraser Health region

Canada in ‘containment’ as COVID-19 spreads in other countries

Motorists were ‘driving like their own Indy 500’ before fatal Abbotsford crash, court hears

Family member declares defence request for 90-day jail sentence a ‘joke’

B.C. takes over another Retirement Concepts senior care home

Summerland facility latest to have administrator appointed

Man pleads guilty to stabbing woman, off-duty cop outside North Delta elementary school

The suspect, whose name is under a publication ban, faced 10 charges in relation to this incident

RCMP pull office from Wet’suwet’en territory, but hereditary chiefs still want patrols to end

Chief says temporary closure of field office not enough as Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute drags on

Prescription opioids getting B.C. addicts off ‘poisoned’ street drugs

Minister Judy Darcy says Abbotsford pilot project working

Most Read