27 April 2011 7:43 AM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Scientologists say new Hollywood base would become central media hub for its 9,000 branches

The Church of Scientology and the movie business have qualities in common – they are both purveyors of dreams and they both provoke emotional reactions in their customers.

In a move that makes the connection more overt, the church has now acquired a property that has the distinction of being the longest continuously-producing Hollywood studio. The Scientologists have bought the five-acre site on Sunset Boulevard from a struggling public TV station, Kcet-tv, for an undisclosed sum likely to have run to several million dollars.

Over the years the studio has been in the hands of Monogram Pictures and Allied Artists and has produced such blockbusters as El Cid [see footnote] with Charlton Heston, Hurricane directed by John Ford, and several Charlie Chan movies.

It adds some 28,000 square metres (300,000 square feet) to the church's already huge capacity to create films and television. »

- Ed Pilkington

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