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Hollywood chips in to save California state parks

Adriene Hill May 7, 2012

California has plans to shutter dozens of state parks-in an effort to close a state budget gap, but as Marketplace’s Adriene Hill reports there’s a move to stop the parks from closing – with the help of Hollywood.

Adriene Hill: Captain Jack Sparrow from the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie series isn’t afraid of much. But California’s budget troubles — that’s a whole other thing.

“Pirates of the Caribbean” clip: Ahhhh!

Ruth Coleman is the director of California State Parks.

Ruth Coleman: Rather than trying to limp by on all of our parks, we’ve gotten to the point where we can’t just keep operating all of them ourselves.

The state has plans to close up to a quarter of its parks: places to hike, to watch the sunset — and places to film movies.

Manuel Grace is a lawyer at the Walt Disney Company.

Manuel Grace: Hollywood studios and the television industry in general have used California state parks since 1910 for scenic locations to double in as other locations.

“Pirates of the Caribbean,” “Grease,””Basic Instinct.” I could go on. And if these parks close:

Grace: It would really be a big blow — I mean a really big blow.

The closures could mean millions less in overall economic activity, according to the California State Parks Foundation. The group just held a benefit at Paramount Studios, hoping to make the parks budget problem a little less argh-worthy.

I’m Adriene Hill for Marketplace.

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