A fire ripped through the Universal Studios backlot Sunday, damaging numerous artifacts of fake history. Among the destroyed sets include the courthouse square from Back to the Future and its famous clocktower. Thousands of classic videos and film reels were also destroyed.
Two mock New York and New England streets used both for movie-making and as tourist displays were a total loss, Los Angeles County Fire Inspector Darryl Jacobs said.
An exhibit housing a mechanically animated King Kong that bellows at visitors on a tram also was destroyed.
All three sites were either damaged or destroyed during another fire at Universal Studios in November 1990. That fire caused $25 million in damage and was started by a security guard who was sentenced to four years in prison after pleading guilty to arson.
[Universal President] Meyer estimated there were 40,000 to 50,000 videos and reels in a video vault that burned but said duplicates were stored in a different location. Firefighters managed to recover hundreds of titles.
The videos included every film that Universal has produced and footage from television series including "Miami Vice" and "I Love Lucy."
So basically, there was a fire, but no one was hurt and everything can be replaced. Boooooring. "It looked like a disaster film," said Los Angeles City [‘s most unoriginal] Councilman Tom LaBonge. LaBONG!