CHICAGO, Oct, 22, 2015 /CNW/ - Today, Thursday October 22nd, 2015 at Cinespace Chicago Film Studios, Deputy Mayor Steve Koch presided over a street naming ceremony honoring Nikolaos "Nick" Mirkopoulos, who resuscitated Chicago's film and television production industry by developing a 52-acre studio campus in the North Lawndale area of the City.
Just before 11:00am Chicago time, production managers from every primetime TV series shooting at Cinespace allowed a 20-minute break for cast, crew members and office staff to pour outside onto South Rockwell Street, the main artery of the busy studio lot, to hear the Deputy Mayor's speech and pay tribute to the late studio owner and developer, Nick Mirkopoulos. Currently shooting on the Cinespace Chicago lot are four primetime TV series and a TV pilot, including Fox's smash hit "Empire", and the three popular shows under legendary producer Dick Wolf for NBC/Universal, "Chicago Fire", "Chicago P.D." and "Chicago Medical", and Showtime's pilot "The Chicago Project".
"Nick Mirkopoulos had a vision for the film and TV production sector of the City of Chicago, and we owe him a great debt," remarked Deputy Mayor Koch during his speech. "So it is only fitting for our City to recognize Nick's contributions today with this street dedication." The Deputy Mayor, along with local Alderman Jason Ervin, Teamsters President of Joint Council 25 John T. Coli, IATSE local 476 Business Manager Mark A. Hogan and former Illinois Governor Pat Quinn then unveiled the new street sign on South Rockwell. Nick Mirkopoulos passed away on December 7th, 2013.
"My Uncle Nick saw the great potential of this property, but more importantly he saw the great potential of the people of Chicago – our talented and motivated film and television production crews, that were underutilized while working on only one or two projects a year," commented Alex Pissios, President of Cinespace Chicago. "Nick had the vision to build out this studio capacity, and of course he had his legendary personality that attracted our friends and clients from Hollywood to Chicago more often, and helped take Illinois production volumes from $25 million a year in 2009 to over $350 Million in 2013. And we surpassed that number in 2014, and we will be surpassing it again in 2015," predicted Pissios.
Jerry DiCanio, Executive Vice President of Production Operations at Universal Television, weighed in from Los Angeles on Nick Mirkopoulos' contributions, stating, "Nick had the foresight to recognize how important it was for Chicago and the TV industry to have series based there. We couldn't have brought our Chicago-themed shows there without his unwavering partnership."
Mark A. Hogan, Business Manager of IATSE Local 476, made Nick Mirkopoulos a Gold Card Member of IATSE 476 back in 2013. "Nick's impact on our industry, especially on our crews and their families, has been immeasurable, and will be felt for years to come. I'm very proud to have known him and worked with him on this pivotal project, one that has given our industry an incredible boost," Hogan said.
Nikolaos "Nick" Mirkopoulos bravely ventured over to Canada from Greece in 1968 seeking adventure and opportunity, and encouraged his brothers Larry and Steve to join him soon thereafter. He led the very successful family contracting business to upgrade many landmark buildings in the Toronto area, and in 1988 opened Cinespace Film Studios, Canada's largest studio operation. Cinespace began managing Chicago's Ryerson Steel complex back in 2009, and officially acquired the property in 2011. Today, after a massive redevelopment and repurposing of the dated but solid Ryerson buildings that was overseen personally by Nick Mirkopoulos, the complex features 22 shooting stages and 8 production office suites on its 52-acre campus. Cinespace's 2 million square feet on over 90 acres between both Toronto and Chicago makes it the largest private studio owner and operator in North America, currently hosting 15 productions inside its studio facilities.
Currently Shooting at Cinespace Chicago:
Chicago Fire (NBC/Universal)
Chicago PD (NBC/Universal)
Chicago Fire (NBC/Universal)
The Chicago Project (Showtime)
Currently Shooting at Cinespace Toronto:
Heroes: Reborn (NBC/Universal)
12 Monkeys (NBC/Universal)
The Code (Entertainment One)
The Strain (FX)
Man Seeking Woman (FX)
Beauty and the Beast (CBS)
Good Witch (Hallmark)
11/22/63 (Warner Bros.)
Poor Richard's Almanack (Legendary)
SOURCE Cinespace Film Studios Inc.
Image with caption: "Family members of the late Nick Mirkopoulos, founder of Cinespace Film Studios, celebrate the City of Chicago's street dedication in Nick's honour on Thursday, October 22nd, 2015, on the Cinespace Chicago studio campus. (CNW Group/Cinespace Film Studios Inc.)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20151022_C4546_PHOTO_EN_527549.jpg
For further information: about Cinespace Film Studios, please contact: Alexander Pissios, Chicago (773) 521-8000; D. Jim Mirkopoulos, Toronto, (416) 406-4000