The Darren Star Screening Room Opens

The TV series creator made a generous donation to UCLA TFT

On Wednesday, Jan. 14, Teri Schwartz, Dean of the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, announced the opening of the new state-of-the-art Darren Star Screening Room through a generous donation provided by television series creator, executive producer and writer Darren Star. A ribbon cutting ceremony was held on Friday, Jan. 16, to commemorate Star and his charitable support of UCLA TFT.

The Darren Star Screening Room will serve as a new, state-of-the-art space for film and television critical studies education, as well as a catalyst for special screenings of classic and new films, industry panels and lectures by distinguished visiting artists. The beautiful 54-seat screening room, located in Melnitz Hall, boasts DCP/HD projection with Dolby 3D and high frame rate technology, Dolby Surround 7.1 sound along with two Strong Simplex 35mm film projectors and Blu Ray/DVD projection capabilities. In addition, the screening room has a high-definition video teleconferencing system with robotic cameras that are connected to the James Bridges Theater in Melnitz Hall to simultaneously link both screening room venues in real time for a wide range of events including screenings, conferences and symposiums. The Darren Star Screening Room has been custom designed by renowned architect, Clive Wilkinson and Associates.

“We are thrilled and honored to have received this groundbreaking, transformational leadership gift from Darren,” Schwartz says. “He is a treasured alum and generous supporter of our School who has made an enormous contribution to our new vision and long range plans as a valued UCLA TFT Executive Board member. The Darren Star Screening Room is a welcoming, brilliant and gorgeous addition to UCLA TFT. It will make a profound difference to our students’ education and the work of our faculty and staff, while greatly enhancing the experience of our distinguished guests who frequent our School.”

“As part of their UCLA TFT education, it’s crucial for students to experience first-hand the technologies found at leading entertainment studios,” Star says. “That’s why it is important that they have a state-of-the-art facility where they can learn, create and showcase their many talents. I hope this intimate theater will serve and inspire the next great generation of storytellers to emerge from UCLA.”

Primetime Emmy Award-winner Darren Star is a 1983 UCLA graduate, a UCLA TFT Executive Board member, a UCLA TFT Capital Campaign Steering Committee member, and the recipient of the 2014 UCLA TFT Distinguished Alumni Award in Film, Television and Digital Media. He is the creator and executive producer of three of television’s zeitgeist-defining series: Sex and the City, Beverly Hills, 90210 and Melrose Place. Each show broke new ground by centering on teens, twenty-somethings and thirty-somethings, paving the way for a new era of television. Beverly Hills, 90210 became one of the longest-running series in TV history and Sex and the City was the first cable series to win a Best Series Primetime Emmy Award, in addition to winning three consecutive Golden Globe Awards for Best Comedy Series.

Most recently, Star created the TV Land series Younger, starring Sutton Foster and Hillary Duff, which premieres on Tuesday, March 31.

Posted: January 17, 2015