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Las Vegas set at Zoetrope Studios

Las Vegas set at Zoetrope Studios

Feb. 4, 1981: Director Francis Coppola, head of the financially troubled Zoetrope Studios, conducts a news conference on a set re-creating downtown Las Vegas.

This photo by George Rose accompanied a story by staff writer Lee Grant in the Feb. 6, 1981, Los Angeles Times:

Francis Coppola was directing a press conference Wednesday instead of a motion picture.

About 200 persons gathered on Stage 3 of Coppola’s Zoetrope Studios in Hollywood and listened to his futuristic pronouncements on the “electronic cinema,” new techniques he is fashioning to make a movie called “One From the Heart.”

Reporters, however, seemed most curious about a monetary crisis that has put Coppola on a financial edge and forced a closing down of the studio’s story department where new projects are discovered and developed. …

“We had to,” he said. “We couldn’t meet the payroll.”

He is an imposing man, 41 years old, hefty, bearded, chatty, who has created some of the most respected and financially successful films of his generation — “The Godfather,” “The Godfather, Part II” and “Apocalypse Now,” among them. He is a writer (“Patton”), a producer (“The Black Stallion”), and the head of a studio. …

About a year and a half ago he bought the seven-acre, nine-stage Hollywood General Studios facility on Santa Monica Boulevard and Las Palmas Avenue where TV’s old “Beverly Hillbillies” show was made. …

Now he is fending off bankers and “A [Hollywood] system that wants my studio” while proceeding on a five-week shooting schedule to get “One From the Heart” in the theaters by July 4. “It’s very hard to work,” he said, “when every day there is a crisis.” The film has a $23-million budget, up from an original $15 million.

Coppola calls it a “very romantic story,” a fantasy set in Las Vegas “about romance, jealousy and sex.” Coppola finds Las Vegas “a metaphor for illusion and fantasy, a perfect place to set a love story — one minute the city says, ‘Come, come and get me’ and the next it looks like Burbank and you’re drunk and broke.” …

Released in February 1982, “One from the Heart” bombed at the box office. Coppola was forced to sell Zoetrope Studios in 1983.

Feb. 4, 1981: Francis Ford Copolla on the set of “One From the Heart” at Zoetrope Studios in Hollywood. This photo was published in the Feb. 6, 1981 Los Angeles Times.

Feb. 4, 1981: Francis Ford Copolla on the set of “€œOne From the Heart”€ at Zoetrope Studios in Hollywood. This photo was published in the Feb. 6, 1981 Los Angeles Times. Credit: George Rose/Los Angeles Times.

Feb. 4, 1981: Francis Ford Coppola during press conference on the set of “One From the Heart” at Zoetrope Studios in Hollywood.

Feb. 4, 1981: Francis Ford Coppola during press conference on the set of “One From the Heart” at Zoetrope Studios in Hollywood. Credit: George Rose/Los Angeles Times.

2 Comments

  1. February 10, 2016, 7:08 am

    Too bad Michael Mann didn't come up with the "Crime Story" series, about 6 years earlier. Mann's production company could have used Coppola's set, for a lot of the scenes.

    By: Steven Moshlak
  2. February 11, 2016, 12:08 pm

    Although it arrived in a different package, we are living in the era of The Electronic Cinema that Francis Coppola ushered in. Not only is he a superb filmmaker, but he loved to experiment using new forms.

    By: Arye Michael Bender

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