HBO's 'The Normal Heart' brings $2M to Long Island

Mark Ruffalo, left, and Taylor Kitsch star in

Mark Ruffalo, left, and Taylor Kitsch star in "The Normal Heart" on HBO. The movie's production spent 11 out of 33 filming days on Long Island, including four days on location in Fire Island and Glen Cove. (Credit: HBO / Jojo Whilden)

Long Island saw a $2 million boost in local spending when HBO's "The Normal Heart" -- which premieres Sunday night at 9 -- filmed here in 2013, according to figures from the Empire State Development Corp., New York's economic development agency.

The film, about an outspoken activist trying to draw attention to the AIDS epidemic in 1980s New York City, generated $6.3 million of spending in New York State during shooting, with about a third of that going to Long Island businesses such as lumber dealers, hotels and boat services. The $2 million figure also includes costs for film permits, which went to local municipalities.

The production spent 11 out of 33 filming days on Long Island, including four days on location in Fire Island and Glen Cove, and a week at Gold Coast Studios in Bethpage. Filming took place in the summer and in November.

Long Island, which has attracted a wide array of film shoots in the past, from "Citizen Kane" to "Love Story," has seen a boost in the industry in recent years. Two factors have been the primary drivers of the increase: a state production tax credit that expanded to 30 percent in 2008, and the opening of two cavernous film studios -- retrofitted from old Northrop Grumman hangars -- in Bethpage.

Last year the Long Island facilities -- Gold Coast and Grumman Studios, each with more than 100,000 square feet of studio space -- drew one of the most expensive movies made in New York State, "The Amazing Spider-Man 2," to be filmed here. And NBC chose Grumman as the site for its live production of "The Sound of Music" last December.

"The Normal Heart" will be receiving tax benefits from the state's film tax credit, but details of how much aid it will receive are not final because the credits are not dispersed until a production is completed, a spokesman with Empire State Development said.

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