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From the underground

Where does Hollywood store its precious film reels?

We are proud to be one of the best places to store film along with a lot of other material. In Sept 2017, The Kansas City Star published an article about UV&S sharing that we store multiple reels of film for Hollywood. Read the article here or go to the Kansas City Star website. You can also learn more about SubTropolis, where our Limestone mine is located in Kansas City by checking out another article written by the Kansas City Star, “KC should be known as the City of Caves, here’s why.”

“The classics are down here: early celluloid reels of “Gone With the Wind,” “The Wizard of Oz” and Warner Bros. cartoons of the 1940s and ’50s. Behind a locked sliding door in Hunt Midwest’s Subtropolis, a scene ripped from the ending of “Raiders of the Lost Ark” stretches out. Row upon row of boxes and tin canisters stacked high, it’s the history of old and new Hollywood in a meticulously maintained mine.
The movie industry has concluded that, refrigeration wise, the sweet spot for keeping film is 45 degrees and 25 percent humidity. Warmer conditions will lead to “vinegar syndrome,” in which celluloid develops a pungent odor and starts to rot, said Underground Vaults vice president Jeff Ollenburger.

“We have a team of people that monitors for vinegar syndrome,” he said. “The whole purpose of environmental control is to keep film as stable as possible.”  Los Angeles lacks the expanse of underground conditions of the limestone-laden heartland, so studios stack their precious reels here for a price dependent on the size and conditions of storage.  Hundreds of thousands of reels fill the 45,000-square-feet locker at Subtropolis, with the inventory in recent years shifting from spools to square, digital cartridges.
Ollenburger said the studios constantly remaster films to suit changing technologies, keeping the storage at Underground Vaults busy. A boxed order heading out last month included the odd pairing of an Italian-language version of GWTW and the Japanese sci-fi flick The Green Slime.” By Rick Montgomery