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NEW YORK CITY-Panavision, a leading maker of camera systems for the movie and television industries, is opting to stay in the city but is splitting its space between two locations. Having vacated its longtime New York City base at 540 W. 36th St. last month, Panavision is relocating its camera operations Downtown and its lighting operations to Queens. The Woodland Hills, CA-based supplier is subleasing 22,000 square feet at 150 Varick St. and leasing 41,000 square feet at 30-40 48th Ave. in Long Island City.

“It wasn’t crucial to Panavision that they co-locate their lighting and camera divisions, and in particular they wanted to retain a Manhattan presence for their camera rental business,” says Mark Robinson, senior managing director with Studley’s West Los Angeles office, in a release. “The real driver in this transaction was making sure both divisions were close to loading docks so that heavy equipment could be ferried to and from shoots expeditiously.” Panavision rents film and digital camera systems made by other manufacturers, as well as its own brand, which has been a Hollywood mainstay for 50 years.

According to a release, Panavision vacated 540 W. 36th because the building will be razed to make way for the eventual expansion of the Jacob Javits Convention Center and extension of the No. 7 subway line. However, the company is opting not to follow the example of other camera suppliers that have left New York City, where more than 28,000 movie and TV shooting days were logged last year, according to the Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre & Broadcasting.

“By May, 2009, Panavision will be the only remaining camera and lighting company left in New York City,” says Erik Schmall, senior managing director with Studley’s New York office, in a release. “Its proximity to its customers and the city’s many film studios gives it a distinct competitive advantage. Most companies have moved their operations outside of the city to New Jersey.”

W&M Operating LLC–the landlord at 150 Varick–brokered the transaction on its own behalf, and Sholom & Zuckerbrot Realty acted for the sublandlord, Adirondack Chair Co., at 30-40 48th. Panavision was represented by Adam Endick and Christy McElhaney of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP at both locations. Jerry Rosenbloom of Rosenbloom & Hofflich LLP acted for the landlord at 150 Varick, and Robert M. Charles of Liebmann, Conway, Olejniczak & Jerry, S.C. represented Adirondack Chair.

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