County temporarily lowers Grand Park filming fees

Los Angeles County supervisors voted Tuesday to temporarily lower filming fees at their newly opened Grand Park downtown.

Movie and TV crews previously had to pay $20,000 a day per block of park space they used. Many entertainment executives said that was too high, especially compared with similar backdrops. The cost of permits was the main reason why only one film has been shot at the park since it opened last year, executives said.

Under the new fee structure, crews will pay as much as $5,000 a day, depending on time of day and what part of the 12-acre park they use. Supervisors voted 4 to 1 to approve the new costs, with Don Knabe casting the only no vote.


Knabe and Michael D. Antonovich had called for dropping all fees for six months to attract more Hollywood interest and measure the demand. But the three other supervisors were opposed, saying they feared that could reduce public access to the park.

“I don’t think that Grand Park, particularly in this beginning initiation of this park, is the place to be a backdrop for the film industry,” said Supervisor Gloria Molina.

More than 19,000 people have visited the park since its opening; and yoga classes, concerts and food trucks have take up residence there, becoming a part of downtown life.

Paul Audley, president of FilmLA, a nonprofit that oversees permitting throughout L.A. County, said he thought the new fees were still too high. “The numbers before you will still be a discouragement to the film industry,” he said.

Supervisors will review the fees in six months and may change them again depending on usage at the $56-million expanse, which stretches from Bunker Hill to City Hall.

The only film to shoot at Grand Park, “About Last Night,” a remake of the 1986 movie, has not been released yet.