Salem WGN Fox TV Studios Set

The Salem Set. Photo by Casey Rackham for Screener

Fox’s ‘Salem’ donates more than $200,000 in set materials toward the construction of new Louisiana aquarium

Fox 21 Television Studios and the production crew on the horror thriller series Salem recently donated more than $200,000 worth of set materials to the city of Shreveport, Louisiana, where the series has filmed each of its three seasons. The donation will go toward the city’s efforts to repurpose an abandoned community center into an environmentally sustainable aquarium. The new building is set to become the first in the state’s history to achieve LEED Platinum certification and will receive $166,000 worth of lumber used to construct Salem’s sets, as well as individual set pieces such as water wells, foam trees, and foam rocks that can be used in the aquarium’s exhibits.

“Normally, 90% of [these sets] would go straight into a dumpster, so the workers who made all this beautiful stuff are ecstatic that it’s going to be repurposed for a change,” said Jim Hays of LA House of Props, who received the donation and is working with his team to build shipwreck and submarine installations in the new aquarium. “We’ve got these big curved structural pieces that look like the inside of a hull of a ship… It’s just amazing.”

The Shreveport Aquarium is slated to open in late summer and will be one of the state’s most environmentally sustainable buildings. The structure will draw on renewable energy, utilize high-efficiency equipment, and feature a state-of-the-art system to recycle the water used in the exhibits, which will contain more than 3,000 animals representing more than 270 different species. Salem’s donation consists of materials from all three seasons of the show and will enhance the aquarium’s mission to promote ocean education and conservation.

Rendering of new Shreveport Aquarium Rendering of the new Shreveport Aquarium by Kevin Bryan Architect

21st Century Fox’s film and television studios regularly donate leftover set materials to not only reduce the amount of waste the productions send to landfill but also support the communities where the projects film. When Glee wrapped after six seasons, Twentieth Century Fox Television donated thousands of pounds of rigging gear to Los Angeles schools and gave the show’s entire auditorium set to local theater and arts organizations. Fox’s studios donated more than 78 tons of set materials in 2015 alone.

The company has also consistently given back to communities across Louisiana in particular, due to the large number of films and TV series that have filmed there, including FX’s American Horror Story, FOX’s Scream Queens, 20th Century Fox’s Logan, and more. In August 2016, following a period of heavy rain in the area, 21CF donated $100,000 to the Louisiana Association of United Way’s flood relief efforts and enlisted the Scream Queens cast to record a PSA calling on viewers to help. The state continues to be an important production hub for the entertainment industry.

Learn more about the Shreveport Aquarium, and watch the video below for a behind the scenes look at how the Salem set will live on: