“It was like a scene out of ‘The Shining,’” said Pete Romano, recalling the way he used to zoom on his bicycle through the hallways at Kaufman Astoria Studios, a benefit of having an uncle on the facilities staff. Now Mr. Romano walks those hallways with his dog, Blue, trotting alongside and helping him check on things.
The increase in films has resulted in an increase in staff and an increase in working commuters every day. According to Kaufman Astoria Studios executives, between 200 and 400 people work on an average television series—including writers, costume and set designers, location scouts and production assistants.
“This neighborhood used to be full of vandalized buildings,” said Hal Rosenbluth, president of Kaufman Astoria. “Our goal wasn’t just to build a movie studio. It was to revitalize a neighborhood using the studio as a base.”