Blue Dolphin Studios joins repertorie of Miami production and studio space
By VICTOR CRUZ
Spanish-language TV host Cristina Saralegui begins taping her popular Univision talk show on Monday at her new Blue Dolphin Studios, a film production facility near the airport that will house her program and rent space to other local projects.
The 50,000-square-foot studio at 2520 NW 112th Ave. will be headquarters for the "Cristina Show" and its magazine and radio offshoots. The complex cost $5 million to build and features three sound stages, the largest of which will be reserved for Ms. Saralegui's program.
"We saw the studio as a way of integrating all of our companies," said Marcos Avila, the TV host's husband and business manager.
The studios were built by Adler Development, a division of the Miami-based commercial real estate company, Adler Group.
The facility will house 75 employees and includes 20,000 square feet of office space. The main stage is 107 by 60 feet, the medium-sized stage is 80 by 60 and the smallest is 40 by 60.
"Everything here is cutting edge: the best acoustics, sound-proofing, lighting and air-conditioning," Mr. Avila said. "We have 24-hour security, plenty of parking and a lot of dressing rooms."
Finished in mid-March, taping was delayed up until final cosmetic touches could be put on the main stage, Mr. Avila said.
"We're creating a whole new look for the show, a very Miami look," he said
Mr. Avila and Ms. Saralegui have brought elements of their Palm Island home to the stage, including a Miami Beach backdrop, not unlike the New York City backdrop on David Letterman's 'Late Night' show, and a stone fireplace.
Ms. Saralegui was lauded last week at a Hispanic award's ceremony in Los Angeles for being the fourth woman entertainer in television history to have her own production studio. Before building the new studios, Ms. Saralegui's show was broadcast from Miami Broadcast Center Inc. on NW 41st St.
Others noted were Mary Pickford, Lucille Ball and Oprah Winfrey,
"I feel incredible and am hoping to do something wonderful with all of that space," Ms. Saralegui said.
Blue Dophin Studios is the 13th TV and sound production site in Miami-Dade County, said Jeff Peel, director of the county's office of film and entertainment.
That number proved lucky for Wendy's in late February when the fast food company was hard up for production space to tape a commercial and all other facilities in the area were booked, Mr. Peel said. The new facility, having just received necessary permits, was booked at the eleventh hour, resulting in $250,000 in filming fees for the county, he said.