Fairly soon the next Hollywood blockbuster you watch just may have been shot in front of a green screen right here in Cape Town. In what should be good news for the local film industry and Cape Town tourism, Good Hope Centre has been proposed to become a film studio from July.
The downside is that the building, though looking rather derelict as of late (read: 20 years+), plays host to a number of annual events, expos and shows. Most of these events have been non-profit in nature. The City of Cape Town has declared that it would cost R8m–R16m to keep the building in working condition. Hosting non-profit events in a building that has clearly seen better days is just not a sustainable business model, which is why discussions are currently underway to convert the building into a large film studio.
As with most large-scale decisions, especially in Cape Town, nothing is ever really straightforward, and this isn’t the first time that the Centre has been a hot topic for renovation. In 1998, the centre was proposed by the South African Film Finance Corporation to become a film studio and what would have been one of the world’s largest film schools. The proposal was submitted to the City Council and, would you believe it, nothing became of it and the entire plan was shelved. Now nearly 20 years later, we’re still sitting with a musty old building vaguely replicating the old-world charm of the Sydney Opera House but mostly in disrepair.
Will the plans go ahead or is the building just doomed? Hopefully it was named Good Hope for a reason. If all else fails, I would recommend another parkade. Read more here.
Have a good Wednesday!
Photography Jonx Pillemer