Associated Press

The years-long dream of bringing a film and television production facility to the Detroit area took a big step forward this week with the groundbreaking ceremony at what will become Unity Studios.

Allen Park Mayor Gary Burtka and studio President Jimmy Lifton said the complex officially opens in October and begins filming its first project in November.

When completed, the 104-acre studio will include sound stages and other facilities to create and edit movies, television programs and other productions.

Also in October, the Lifton Institute for Media Skills will open at the site for its first class of 250 students who will be trained for jobs in the film industry.

The studio is being counted on to provide a shot in the arm to an area hurt badly by the recession and a steep downturn in the auto industry.

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