Firehouse Studio rental stage grand opening June 3

A 105 year old firehouse is a hot, new film stage

After a year spent converting a 105-year old West Rogers Park firehouse into a shooting stage, post facilities and offices, new Firehouse Studios will welcome guests at a Friday, June 3 Grand Opening

Owned by Tim and Selene Plum, the faithfully restored 3,800-sq. ft. former firehouse for Engine Company 70 at 1545 W. Rosemont Ave. is being offered as a complete rental facility at attractive rates.  

Branding the space as Firehouse Studios rather than Plum Productions was deliberate, said Tim Plum.  “The purpose is to help other producers and production companies feel comfortable coming to our facility.”

Plum invested $1.1 million in the vintage firehouse, paying $390,000 for the property in April, 2010 in a deal with the city and $700,000 for the renovation, designed by Plum and his wife, Selene, working with architect Joel Berman. 

Restored were the white glazed brick walls and hardwood cabinets; the old pressed tin ceiling was replaced with period-style micro-perforated soundproof tin, and the floors on the second were redone and soundproofed.

Two skylights were added, along with a metal deck and a full side lot “where a garden was planted and is starting to bloom,” notes Kellye Blosser, a Plum Productions staffer who was named studio director.  Michael “Fonzy” LaFond is studio manager.

The restored building façade essentially remains the same, says Blosser, “except for replacing the original double with special custom-made wood doors that replicate firehouse doors of the early 20th century.”

Studio space has a main stage and modular kitchen 

Firehouse’s 1,800-sq. ft. of studio space includes a 22×60-sq. ft. main stage, with 12-ft. ceilings, plus a 20×22-sq. ft. working modular kitchen stage to fit various looks, with interchangeable white, wood grain and steel surfaces.  

There’s a 24-channel control panel of which 12 are dimmable, 32 dedicated circuits and “full lighting packages come as part of the studio rental,” notes Blosser.

The second floor has offices and four Final Cut Pro and After Effects stations.

“Companies renting the studio will have access to our large array of Canon XLH1 and Panasonic HPX500 and full complement of Arri lights and Kino Flos for lighting package,” Blosser says.    

Plum Productions, founded by Tim Plum in 1997 and previously located in Andersonville, currently has a full-time staff of six including Plum.  

For the Grand Opening, Firehouse Studio’s new doors will open at 2 p.m. and festivities will run until midnight. 

“It should be a great event,” Blosser says.  “The firefighters of Engine Company 70 are catering specialties they’re serving up is Five Alarm Chili.  We’ll have kegs of 312 Chicago beer and Honkers Ale and live jazz all evening with the Steven Hashimoto Trio.”

For Fire House Studio details and rental rates, click here