LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION – Alicante’s Ciudad de la Luz studios

The studios opened in 2005 and its very name – City of Light – revealed hopes that the complex would become Europe’s Hollywood thanks to Alicante’s famed Mediterranean light and benign climate

By the time that approximately 60 films had been made there, Pinewood Studios in Britain complained to the European Commission that Ciudad de la Luz’s subsidies from the regional government constituted unfair competition.

The complaint was upheld and in 2012 the studios were ordered to close for 15 years.

Meanwhile, Ciudad de la Luz remained Generalitat property, principally because there were no takers for what was then a white elephant. During the pandemic it was used as a vaccination centre and more recently to house Ukrainian refugees.

In March this year, the EU lifted the restrictions, announcing that the complex,s which covers a 300,000-square metre area, could resume cinematographic activities from July 1, five years sooner than the original ruling.

On September 12, Generalitat president Ximo Puig announced that he had received formal notice from the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Competition that the case was definitively closed.

“This brings to an end a nightmare that has lasted too long,” Puig said.


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