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BROADWAY 4D Project Back on Its Feet with New Producers?

BroadwayWorld has learned that veteran Hollywood producers-entrepreneurs, Elie Samaha and Donald Kushner, are re-launching the much ballyhooed BROADWAY 4D film project and attraction, which was put on a hold a year ago by its original producers.

Samaha and Kushner most recently took the moribund Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, an 88 year-old tourist landmark in need of a rebirth, and spun it into the world's biggest IMAX Theatre and, recently, the only IMAX Laser Theatre in North America. Under their stewardship, the Chinese Theatre, famous for its movie star handprints and footprints in its forecourt and now called the TCL Chinese Theatre, after its Chinese corporate sponsor, has also become an international sensation in movie exhibition circles. For the opening of JURASSIC WORLD, the TCL Chinese Theatre, now firmly established as both a major tourist attraction (#1 in Hollywood) and an equally impressive "working" movie house, scored the second biggest grosses on the continent.

The new producing entity for BROADWAY 4D will be called the 1991 Broadway Theatre Group, LLC, which is purchasing all of the assets of the original entity. The new entity plans to sign a long term lease with the Times Square Theater on West 42nd Street, where, once completed, the BROADWAY 4D attraction film will be showcased.

In addition to relaunching the BROADWAY 4D project next year, Samaha and Kushner along with the director Paul Becker and writers Paul Becker and Rory Owen Delaney, will shoot a dance movie in the fall.

As part of this project, the 1991 Broadway Theatre Group will also build four Sugar Factory retail stores near the BROADWAY 4D location, including outlets at 700 Eighth Avenue, 835 Washington Avenue, 241 Fifth Avenue and 1991 Broadway. Sugar Factory is best-known for its Couture Pops of such iconic stars as Kim Kardashian, Britney Spears and Miley Cyrus.

Back in March of 2012, plans were announced for a full and classic restoration of the Times Square Theater to return it to its historic glory. The developers also announced Broadway Sensation, described as a 4D Musical Spectacular, which included a 3D film enhanced show with in-theater special effects, to celebrate the Broadway Musical with the latest theater and 4D film technology. The theater was originally scheduled to open in the late spring or early summer of 2013.

BROADWAY 4D had obtained significant backing from leaders of the film and theatrical creative communities before being shelved last year. Tony Award winning producer Gary Goddard was originally slated to lead the creative team, which included director and producer Bryan Singer. Singer and Goddard were set to produce and direct the 3D film, and noted film and TV executive Jeff Sagansky was to serve as Executive Producer.

The greatest songs from the greatest Broadway musicals, penned by the most famous songwriters, including Rodgers & Hammerstein, Kander & Ebb, Charles Strouse & Martin Charnin as well as many others, were to be performed by Broadway and Hollywood stars. Hugh Jackman, who portrayed Curly in a 1998 revival of OKLHAOMA! at the National Theatre, was scheduled to perform "Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin', Sierra Boggess, who recently starred as Christine in Broadway's THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, was to reprise her role as Ariel in THE LITTLE MERMAID, Christina Aguilera was to take on EVITA. Also set to appear in the film were GLEE star Matthew Morrison, NINE's Antonio Banderas and Broadway vet Betty Buckley.

No word yet on the details of this latest incarnation of BROADWAY 4D, but BroadwayWorld will let you know as soon as we hear more! Who would you most like to see in the attraction? Tell us in the comments below!

Pictured: Christina Aguilera, who was slated to perform as part of the original BROADWAY 4D project. Photo by Heidi Gutman/NBC.

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