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Can California remain the world’s movie capital?

by Adam B. Vary.

“Movies” and “Hollywood” have long been twins in the American imagination, like “politics” and “Washington,” and “theater” and “Broadway.” Every major studio is headquartered in southern California, with vast soundstages taking up thousands of square feet. Most movie stars keep at least one palatial home in the greater Los Angeles area. And, of course, since 1929, the town has played home to the biggest movie event of the year, the Academy Awards.

There’s just one nagging problem: For years now, many of the year’s biggest and most acclaimed movies have barely been made in Hollywood, greater Los Angeles, or California — if at all. Thanks in part to generous tax breaks in states like Louisiana and New York — not to mention countries like Canada and Australia — feature film production in the Los Angeles area dropped an estimated 41 percent from 1996 to 2007, according to production data from the non-for-profit organization FilmL.A.

That steady march of film production out of California prompted the state legislature to pass a tax break plan of its own in 2009, which Gov. Jerry Brown just renewed for two more years this week. The plan offers up to $100 million in tax credits per year, but the biggest question now is, will that be enough to bring filmmaking back to its former SoCal glory?

Read the rest of this article from InsideMovies.

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