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22 April 2024

Fire-damaged Universal Studios backlot to reopen



Fire-damaged areas of Universal Studios' famous backlot – a popular Los Angeles tourist attraction – will reopen to the public later this year, officials said on Tuesday.

A four-acre blaze at the site broke out last June, damaging facilities including a mock town square featured in Back to the Future and an alleyway made famous in 1973's Oscar-winner The Sting.

The fire also accounted for a New York City streetscape used in television shows such as Seinfeld and NYPD Blue, as well as a building housing a mechanical King Kong that formed part of the studio's popular tram tour.

Studio officials said rebuilt locations would open mid-summer, including Back to the Future's Courthouse Square and a New York Street.

New backlot scenes will include a gas station, firehouse, London Street and a modern urban cityscape that Universal officials said would be the largest modern urban backlot shooting location in Los Angeles.

Other sets in the area are still under construction and are expected to open next year.

Most of the Universal Studios backlot was unharmed by the fire, including the War of the Worlds set, Psycho's Bates Motel and house and Desperate Housewives’ Wisteria Lane.