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Bob Hope Airport collects $100,000 since reopening to filmmakers

September 17, 2012 |  7:49 am

Private jet Bob Hope Airport

Since officials reopened Bob Hope Airport for filming this year for the first time since the Sept. 11, 2011, terrorist attacks, movie and TV production has generated roughly $100,000 for the airfield.

Filming was prohibited at the Burbank airport after the terrorist attacks, but airport officials decided to open the doors to production companies again this spring in hopes of generating needed funds as they deal with declining parking revenues and passenger counts, the Burbank Leader reported.

Crews for the revived series “Arrested Development,” which will be released on Netflix next year, brought in tuk-tuks -- a type of motorized rickshaw -- to help turn the outside baggage claim area at the Burbank airport into an airfield in Mumbai, said property officer Madeleine Zavala, who has taken on the added responsibility of coordinating film shoots.

Actors in Indian garb, as well as signs in Hindi, gave the scene its finishing touches.

“It’s going to look really good on film,” Zavala said, adding that several “Arrested Development” stars, including Jason Bateman and Portia de Rossi, were on the set.

The airfield was also turned into John Wayne and Phoenix Sky Harbor airports in about nine hours on the same day, she added.

Sofia Coppola used Bob Hope Airport to bring some reality to her upcoming film “Bling Ring,” which is based on actual events involving teens who burglarized several celebrities’ homes, beginning with Paris Hilton’s residence.

“In reality, the female leader of the group did fly out of here,” Zavala said.

The ringleader was later arrested in Las Vegas. The scene was filmed in and around a car parked at the curb at Terminal B, which is usually used for film shoots instead of the much busier Terminal A.

For one film shoot, a mock security checkpoint was built, and it looked so real that passengers began lining up to go through it, Zavala said.

“Quickly, our operations team had to queue them over to the real checkpoint,” she added.

The airport receives 20 to 25 calls a week from production companies expressing interest in filming, Zavala said, adding that the airfield averages about four film projects a month.

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-- Mark Kellam, Times Community News

Photo: A private jet is taxied into a hangar at Bob Hope Airport. Credit: Times Community News

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