The lottery for a piece of California’s $100 million Film and TV Tax Credit program was interupted today after a suspicious package was discovered on Hollywood Boulevard, closing down the busy stretch near La Brea Avenue. About 45 minutes into the lottery process, where a deputy fire marshal had the ceremonial duty of pulling winning numbers for successful candidates, police ordered the California Film Commission’s offices evacuated, sources tell me. The lottery is expected to pick up Tuesday morning where it left off. Commission officials left behind documents in the office that recorded the winning projects selected so far, I’m told. Hollywood has been closed between La Brea and Sycamore with traffic being pushed onto side streets (in other words, it was a nightmare). (UPDATE, 5:46 PM: LAPD says the bomb squad determined the package was not harmful and is planning to reopen the streets in the area soon.)
As well as the Film Commission offices, other notable entertainment venues nearby include the studio for ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Oscars home the Dolby Theatre, the TCL Chinese Theater, Disney-owned El Capitan Theater and industry fave the Roosevelt Hotel. (UPDATE 2, 5:51 PM: Sources tell us the Kimmel show’s taping tonight won’t be affected).
The Film Commission was expected to announce how many applications they had received by today’s 3 pm deadline, as well as how many projects had won tax credits this year. No word yet if they will now release both figures tomorrow. Once the lottery determines winners of the credit (which covers about 20% of production costs), the state office will spend the next few weeks checking applications thoroughly to make sure they are eligible. A list of successful projects will be made available on July 1.