Paint Factory Studios is located at 1507 Portland Ave. | Courtesy of Paint Factory Studios

Two new Louisville businesses that opened today in the Portland neighborhood are operating under the same mantra: If you build it, they will come. One is a turnkey studio and production facility that hopes to attract the influx of filmmakers in Kentucky, and the other is a space for local musicians to rehearse and store equipment.

Paint Factory Studios, located at 1507 Portland Ave., is a 10,000-square-foot complex that formerly housed the Devoe Paint Company. Owned by Portland investor David Self, the complex features complete film and production offices, as well as studios and even rooftop access for shots of downtown Louisville.

Paint Factory has a rooftop where filmmakers can shoot. | Courtesy of Paint Factory Studios

He hired fashion and film designer/producer Lindsay Moremen to transform three floors of Paint Factory into the ideal space for both short-term and long-term film companies.

“The film industry in Kentucky is exploding right now, with 55 films approved for production,” Self says in a press release. “Seeing an old historic building here in Portland, which is itself undergoing an emerging creative renaissance, regain new life as a new film production hub under one roof is very rewarding. Lindsay’s artistic vision and her own experience and contacts in the industry makes this a great fit for us, too.”

As Insider mentioned last week in an article about Louisvillians at Sundance championing for Kentucky as a filming destination, the state has some of the best tax incentives in the country for film companies looking to shoot. These incentives are paying off, with the more films approved to be shot in 2017 than any previous year.

“With competitive film incentives in place in Kentucky, we are now focusing on building an infrastructure that will sustain the growing industry,” says Merry-Kay Poe, chair of the Kentucky Film Commission. “The Paint Factory Studios is a great facility and will be a useful resource for productions while creating jobs and expanding opportunities. This is a good example of local businesses that are needed to support the film industry in Kentucky.”

Garageland is located at 2318 Portland Ave. | Courtesy of Garageland

Meanwhile, Garageland opened just down the road from the Paint Factory, at 2318 Portland Ave., as a shared space for bands and musicians to rehearse, store equipment and even record. The historic brick building was built in the ’20s by Mrs. J.B. Speed and donated to the city as the Portland Health Clinic.

The space was previously owned by artist Bryce Hudson, who renovated it into an art studio. Hudson sold it to businessman and investor Jim White, who saw a need for a place for musicians to play and practice.

“Finding a decent space to rehearse is a big hurdle for a lot of bands,” says White in a press release. “Louisville was in need of such a space, and the Portland area presented an ideal location because of its proximity to downtown Louisville, the University of Louisville and interstates. I also wanted to be part of the renewed investment in the Portland historic neighborhood.”

Inside a practice room at Garageland | Courtesy of Garageland

Garageland will offer monthly memberships that guarantee weekly time slots and access to storage space (on a first come, first serve basis). Plus, the building is equipped with amenities some musicians can’t afford on their own.

“We have everything bands need for rehearsal, including full backline and a state-of-the art sound system,” says White. “Plus, it’s just a fantastic, historic building and a really cool place to hang out and play music.”

Finding a decent place to practice — that doesn’t annoy the neighbors — is definitely a challenge of many Louisville bands.

“For me, being a drummer, it’s nice to have a space where I can get loud and not worry about annoying my family, as well as not having to carry my drums somewhere and then have to carry them back out,” explained Andy Hurt, whose band Royal Bears rehearses at Garageland. “Also, the room sounds great — it’s nice when you’re in a band to be able to hear everything that’s being played.”

Membership rates start at $175 per month and include a three-hour weekly time slot. Members can use the space anytime it’s open as well. Hourly rehearsal rentals also are available.

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Sara Havens
Sara Havens is the Culture Editor at Insider Louisville, known around town as the Bar Belle (barbelleblog.com). She's a former editor of LEO Weekly and has written for Playboy and The Alcohol Professor. Havens is the author of two books: "The Bar Belle" and "The Bar Belle Vol. 2."