This post is about a tour on Thursday, January 23rd of ECLECTIC PROPS in Long Island City – the largest prop-rental facility on the East Coast with over 95,000 SF of stored items. The owner will lead our tour into this real behind-the-scenes peek of the film and television industry in NYC. Capacity will be strictly limited; tickets are $45. MWC’ers, please go to SIGN UP! for additional details and to reserve your spot. Travel details will be sent to and coordinated with attendees the week before the tour.
Want to know where the “new” Hollywood is? Uh, it’s right where the “old” Hollywood was – where the US film industry got its start, right here in NYC. Encouraged by the surge in demand for content by streaming services and a generous New York state tax incentive program in place since 2004, film and television production has exploded in little ol’ Gotham. Think about it, in addition to independent productions filmed all over the City in a variety of locations, there are now at least four major studios operating and expanding or being created in NYC. These include Steiner Studios in Brooklyn, the Silvercup and Kaufmann-Astoria studios in Queens and the new Wildflower Studio being built on a parcel of land purchased from Steinway Pianos. In 2018, 332 movies were filmed in NYC and film and television production spent $2 billion in the first half of 2019.
All of that content production creates a vast swath of local economic activity– a wide range of jobs, services, facilities and equipment. One type of support business is props – those key items which define the look and feel for a production or support specific plot lines. And that’s where a prop house comes in.
Props are typically rented because they’re only used for a limited period of time. Just as important, using a prop house can save a production and an art director time – less need to spend time scouring for specific and often very hard to find items. Need a 50’s diner? Want a luxurious English Country House setting? How about a Reagan era White House? Want something more retro-futuristic and Jetsons-like ? How about a Tiki-hut or safari theme? Prop houses are accustomed to many oddball requests – which is why it’s so much fun to peek inside one!
The largest prop house on the East Coast is ECLECTIC PROPS in Long Island City. It’s a place where film & television producers rent thrones for their medieval sets, top hats for their 19th-century character actors, and fake squirrels for scenes of nature in NYC. They have over a million items stored in 95,000 sf of warehouse space.
Led by the CEO & Founder of Eclectic Props, Suri Bieler, we will have an all-access experience through this wild space, once a former Pepsi Cola factory. In addition to looking through the crazy-kooky inventory (some of which you may recognize from your favorite television shows) our tour will include:
- An overview of the history and story behind Eclectic Props, and how the founder went from only having $175 in her pocket to running one of the largest prop companies on the East Coast.
- A walkthrough of the three-story facility that contains props in dozens of categories including Sports & Weapons, Toys, Diner, and Juke Boxes.
- A first-hand look at the comprehensive cataloging system that keeps track of over one million props
- A discussion about the logistics of the prop business and how the company services thousands of productions in the New York theater, film, and TV industry.
Hey, it’s January – time to make our fun inside! Please join us for this special look into this unique industry which is key for NY’s creative industries.