20th Century Props to Close This Summer—Barring Cash From Investors, Buyers

By Alesandra Dubin June 24, 2009, 11:50 AM EDT

Harvey Schwartz, owner of the nearly four-decade-old 20th Century Props in North Hollywood, may close his 118,000-square-foot warehouse within the next couple weeks, barring a hail Mary-style bid from would-be buyers or investors. If the cash infusion does not come in, he will shutter the company—which houses close to 100,000 items of all sizes, including a World War II submarine, Art Deco and other antiques, and the contents of the 20th Century Fox studio prop department, which he bought in 1994—within the next couple of weeks and put the items up for sale over multiple days in July.

The reasons for the uncertain fate of 20th Century Props are economic. “It's half recession, because of the business environment, but the other half is the pseudo-non-strike from SAG," said Schwartz, referring to the threat of a Screen Actors Guide strike that loomed for nearly a year until members finally approved a contract on June 9. He said his business also took a hit from the writers' strike last year, but he was able to recoup those losses. The New York Times has more on the closing (including a slide show of props) here.

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