George Lucas's Latest Marin Movie Factory

An Amazing Sight Few Will See

Filmmaker George Lucas wants everybody to see his movies, but not where they're made.

The "Star Wars" creator's latest plan for moviemaking magic is also an architectural treat: a "three-story digital technology fortress" on the site of the former Grady Ranch in a secluded part of Lucas Valley in Marin County, Calif., according to the Marin Independent Journal.

Lucas proposes to build on-site a 263,000-square foot building, where 340 employees — and actors and guests — will be able to avail themselves of film stages, screening rooms, a cafe, a day car, a gym, sleeping quarters and underground parking for 202 cars and 24 bicycles.

All this will be hidden from view by a man-made knoll.

Nine bridges to span Miller, Grady and Landmark creeks will be built, and there's also a plan to dig a cave in which Lucas can age the wine culled from his nearby vineyards.

The building will look similar to either the Mission-style St. Vincent's School for Boys or the Casa Grande at Hearst Castle in San Simeon, depending on who you ask.

The 187-acre project is not far away from Lucas's existing facilities at the 2,500-acre Skywalker Ranch.

The plan seems destined for approval, according to reports: a less-intensive plan was already green-lighted by Marin County officials, the newspaper reported. This one will go through the public process next year.

While there's certainly a similarity, George Lucas's name is not literally on Lucas Valley: the area is named for a 19th-century rancher, not the director.

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