Much to the ire of some L.A.-area film buffs, Universal Studios will be knocking down Stage 28, a 90-year-old soundstage built for the original 1925 Phantom of the Opera, to make room for the massive expansion currently underway there, which includes the development of its new suite of Harry Potter-themed attractions. But all is not lost, reports Variety: the set built inside, which was designed to resemble a Parisian opera house, will be preserved to through a "multimillion-dollar" effort and moved to a new home.
Curbed LA has a rundown of the life of the set after the Lon Chaney classic, which has included appearances in the 1931 Dracula, The Sting, Thoroughly Modern Millie, and, oddly enough, an episode of Knight Rider where the 'Hoff tries to resolve a haunting there, surely a nod to the rumors that Chaney's cape-wearing ghost makes appearances there from time to time.
Universal is still in the process of finding it a proper home, but they've made overtures to organizations like the American Film Institute, Hollywood Heritage, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Below are a few circa-2010 photos of the set, in all of its much-revised (it's estimated to be made up of about 50 percent original materials at this point) but still arresting grandeur:
· Universal's 1924 Phantom of the Opera Set is on the Move [Curbed Curbed LA]