Could Geauga Lake become a movie production site?
Geauga Lake has sat vacant for years, but steps have been taken to transform the old amusement park into a potential sound stage setting for movie production.
At Cleveland Comic Con, Ivan Schwarz, director of the Greater Cleveland Film Commission, said they are working on legislation to raise the motion picture tax incentive from $20 million to $75 million per year.
The Ohio House of Representatives has already been presented with a bill, Schwarz tells WKYC Channel 3's Hilary Golston.
According to Midwest Movie Maker, "the Ohio Film Tax Credit provides for a refundable credit against the corporation franchise or income tax for motion pictures produced in Ohio. The tax credit is equal to 25 percent of non-wage and nonresident wage Ohio production expenditures and 35 percent of Ohio resident wage production expenditures. Up to $5 million in credits is available per production."
Schwarz said the area would also need production-ready sound stages, which he is trying to build. One of the locations being considered? Geauga Lake.
"We've been looking at Geauga Lake as well as some other places," Schwarz told Golston. "Boy, if we could build something in Geauga Lake, it would be a dream come true."
Shwarz says Ohio is losing movies to other states because it lacks "infrastructure." Shwarz estimates the losses in production over the last year and a half total $1 billion because of the lack of sound stages. "With sound stages, it allows them to basically do their whole production here," Shwarz said.
Captain America for example used 6-8 sound stages, Shwarz told Golston. "We have zero," Schwarz said in regards to the lack of facilities needed to woo productions to the Buckeye State.
Midwest Movie Maker also reports that two films will be shot in Cleveland this year, prior to the Republican National Convention in July. Schwarz would not name the movies, though they said one is a high-budget film.
"Captain America: Civil War" directors Joe and Anthony Russo also hinted that "Avengers: Infinity War" may be filmed in Cleveland.
"Chris Evans loves it here," Joe Russo said.