ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., Sept. 19, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Amalgamated Bank, America's Labor Bank, announced here today that after a bankruptcy reorganization, Albuquerque Studios (ABQ Studios) is now owned by a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Bank's LongView Ultra Construction Loan Investment Fund. ABQ Studios is now operating debt-free, and continues to be managed, going forward, by Pacifica Ventures.
LongView Funds are a diversified group of investment strategies offered through Amalgamated Bank's Investment Management Division, which provides asset management and custodial services to jointly administered, union pension funds, public employee benefit funds, and other institutional investors.
In making the announcement, James T. Freel, Senior Vice President and Chief Real Estate Officer for the Investment Management Division, said, "During the past twelve months, despite facing the uncertainty of a bankruptcy process, ABQ Studios has still been able to enjoy one of its most productive periods since it opened in 2007."
Recently, the major productions that used ABQ Studios include ABC Networks' Scoundrels, Dreamworks' Fright Night, AMC's award winning Breaking Bad, and Marvel Studio's The Avengers, one of the largest U.S. productions undertaken in 2011 and scheduled for release in 2012.
"Looking ahead," Mr. Freel, said, "we believe the Studio is on solid financial footing. The facility has a strong pipeline of new productions, and our goal is to continue to attract a high volume of top level television and film production projects to the studio."
In addition, ABQ Studios is home to the ReelzChannel, which is devoted to delivering programming that is all about the movies. The channel's programming, production, web development, and creative services as well as its marketing and communications divisions employ over 200 people who work in a 30,000-square foot office and broadcast complex on the ABQ Studios main lot. Programming produced at the studio includes a weekly movie review program with film critic Leonard Maltin.
ABQ Studios is managed by Pacifica Ventures, a firm run by experienced professionals with broad expertise in TV and film production. Also, the facility's on-site management and operating staff has been retained and new personnel have been added.
"ABQ Studios is a world class production facility located in an area that is film friendly. In addition, New Mexico offers significant advantages to TV and film production companies," said Dana Arnold, President and CEO of Pacifica Ventures.
"We provide one of the largest independent, dedicated film and television production facilities in the United States located on 28 acres at Mess del Sol close to the Albuquerque airport, a 90-minute flight from Los Angeles."
In addition, New Mexico's Governor Susana Martinez and the State's Film Office offer important support to the film and TV production industry. In terms of resources, more than 10,000 skilled film and television industry people have jobs in the State and Albuquerque has been transformed into a very attractive film and TV production venue.
About Albuquerque Studios (ABQ Studios)
ABQ Studios offers eight sound stages totaling 132,000-sq. ft. of space, 100,000-sq. ft. of production offices and support space, a backlot with ample room to construct outdoor sets, and a complete range of production support services, including camera & equipment rental, set construction, lighting & grip, and catering. For more details, visit www.abqstudios.com.
About Amalgamated Bank
Established in 1923 by the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America, Amalgamated Bank continues the progressive traditions of its founders as the only union-owned bank in the United States. Chartered by New York State, Amalgamated Bank is an FDIC insured commercial bank with about $4.5 billion in assets. The Bank's retail banking network has 27 branches serving New York City, Nevada, New Jersey, California, and Washington, D.C.
Formed in 1973, Amalgamated's Investment Management Division today serves more Taft-Hartley pension plans than any other U.S. money manager. The Division provides distinct advantages to labor affiliated pension fund investors by thoroughly understanding the challenges that plan trustees face in managing the assets of large pension, health and welfare funds. For years, the Division's Longview™ Funds have run successful corporate governance initiatives and vigorous shareholder activism programs.
Also, the Bank's corporate divisions include Commercial Banking, Commercial Real Estate Finance, Amalgamated Capital™, and Amalgamated Business Credit, which provides asset-based financing to middle market businesses. The Bank's website is www.amalgamatedbank.com.
About Pacifica Ventures
Based in Santa Monica, California, Pacifica Ventures was created over a decade ago to take advantage of unique real estate and business opportunities in the entertainment industry. The company's primary focus is on the acquisition, development, and operation of filming and production facilities for motion picture and television production. Pacifica Ventures serves successful independent producers, and all members of the entertainment community who create, finance, produce and distribute media content. The website is www.pacificaventures.com.
SOURCE Amalgamated Bank