LOS ANGELES, Calif. (FOX 11) - Our trip into the past takes us halfway across the country into the nation's heartland where cows graze, corn grows and some of Hollywood's most famous TV shows and movies are buried! Well, not 'buried', but stored deep under Hutchison, Kansas. Fifty-four stories underground!
With FOX 11 Photographer Tony Buttitta, we took a hoist a minute-and-a-half down a mine shaft to an amazing site! The walls of the mine are white. They're made of salt. In this mine, the rock salt extracted is used on streets and highways to melt ice.
This salt mine is huge. Part of it is an active mine extracting tons of salt every day. The other part is a storage facility. And, it's massive. It runs about 75 linear miles which, basically, is 100 or more football fields. The storage areas are made up of huge shelving units. Lots of them.
Lee Spence, one of the partners of Underground Vaults, says most major Hollywood players are here and have stored films like "The Wizard of Oz"... "Titanic" and TV shows like "Glee" and "Modern Family." We saw many film-making companies store here including 20th Century Fox, Warner Brothers and KTTV. That's right KTTV Channel 11.
There are over 6 million boxes of films, data, scripts, costumes and other thing made by many companies using storage space here. Some of the boxes are filled with canisters of our news footage from the station's earliest days. We have over six hundred boxes of news footage stored there.
What makes a salt mine such a desirable storage facility? The way company officials explain it, the temperature is a constant 68 degrees. The salt environment keeps the air relatively dry... in 40% humidity range. It's considered an ideal environment for storing things like movie film. They say, salt has a certain drying ability that keeps the air at just the right dew point.
Watch our video and join us for a trip to a place where Hollywood and Kansas meet! A place few have seen.