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Universal movie sets to reopen this summer

February 3, 2009 |  4:56 pm

Most of the movie sets that were ravaged at Universal Studios Hollywood in an accidental fire last June will reopen this summer, Universal officials said Tuesday.

The rebuilt sets would include the famed Courthouse Square featured in the original blockbuster movie "Back to the Future," together with Brownstone Street and an upgraded New York Street. New locations being introduced this year would include a gas station, a firehouse, a London Street and a contemporary cityscape, featuring glass and steel facades, Universal officials said.

"There will be revitalized, very authentic looking structures that will be as much in demand for production, as for our guests," said Eliot Sekuler, Universal's vice president of public relations. "Everyone in the studio and production companies, and in tourism, is very excited about it."

Officials said studio tours have been upgraded with high definition digital servers and flat-screen monitors that would give visitors an improved behind-the-scenes look at a working studio environment.

There was no immediate word about the popular 30-foot mechanical King Kong that was also destroyed.

Most of the studio's famous standing sets and locations, such as the set used in the "War of the Worlds" and Wisteria Lane from "Desperate Housewives," were untouched by the fire, which investigators said was accidentally ignited as Universal workers were conducting repairs.

Nine firefighters and a sheriff's deputy were injured in the blaze.

--Ann M. Simmons

Photos: KTLA