CA - Hollywood Studios Increase Security After FBI Warning : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Hollywood Studios Increase Security After FBI Warning (AP) 9.20.01, 7:45p --

Several Hollywood studios halted tours and increased armed patrols Thursday following a general warning from the FBI that television and movie facilities could be targets of terrorist attacks.

Twentieth Century Fox said Thursday it plans to install gate barricades. Warner Bros., in Burbank, prohibited live studio audiences from tapings of such television shows as "The Drew Carey Show" and halted its popular studio tour. Sony also canceled studio tours "until further notice" and said every vehicle and person could be subject to search.

FBI spokesman Matt McLaughlin said investigators uncovered an "uncorroborated threat" against the studios and informed the companies Thursday morning. He cautioned that the FBI warning was only a precaution and that studios should not overreact to the potential threat.

By Thursday afternoon, the studios had begun circulating memos to employees advising them to be on alert.

"In this time of heightened security, it is important you respect your fellow employees, but at the same time we must be vigilant in reporting any suspicious activity," wrote Peter Chernin, president of News Corp., the parent company of Fox.

Studio officials said they plan more searches of bags, lunch boxes and vehicles. They also plan to increase armed security guards and close many side entrances to lots and buildings.

"In this environment, we are taking the warning very seriously and taking appropriate measures to enhance our security," Warner Bros. spokesman Scott Rowe said.

The Walt Disney Co., which does not offer a studio tour, said it would continue to allow audiences for the few shows taped at its Burbank lot but would increase overall security measures.

Universal Studios said it also would increase security but would continue the studio tours that are part of its nearby Universal Studios Hollywood theme park.

-- PHO (, September 21, 2001

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