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Fire Destroys Hollywood Studio : Damage: Cost of early-morning blaze is put at $2.6 million. No injuries were reported, but an owner of the 70-year-old building says he lost everything.

July 20, 1990|RON SMITH | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Fire gutted a two-story Hollywood studio early Thursday, causing an estimated $2.6 million in damage to the 70-year-old building where the old "Steve Allen Show" was made.

About 110 firefighters were called to the Late Night Studios in the 1200 block of Vine Street, where they battled flames which at one time threatened to engulf a nearby apartment house, Fire Department spokesman Pat Marek said.

The fire began at 2:10 a.m. and was extinguished 90 minutes later, Marek said. There were no injuries.

Officials were investigating the cause of the fire.

Rik Sciacca, one of the owners of Late Night Studios, a 5-year-old entertainment production company, said he was told faulty electrical wires sparked the fire.

"There's nothing left," Sciacca, who lived in a studio office, said Thursday morning as he collected the few items that were not devoured by the flames. Sciacca said nearly everything he owns has been destroyed.

'I don't know when I'm going to cry," Sciacca told a friend. "I have no pants, shoes or shirts. I'm still a little shaken up. I left here at 12:15 a.m. and came back later and watched the place burn."

Late Night Studios is involved in, among other enterprises, the production of music videos.

The structure, built in the 1920s, once was home to the Filmarte Theatre Movie House, said Hollywood historian Marc Wanamaker.

Wanamaker said the theater was transformed into a television audience theater in the early 1960s. Among programs produced there was the "Steve Allen Show."

Officials estimated that the fire caused $1.6 million in damage to the structure and another $1 million to its contents, which included sound stages, a rehearsal room, offices and wardrobe rooms.

Two other companies rented space in the building, Sciacca said.

Because of the fire, city officials closed Vine Street and several nearby roads for five hours Thursday.

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