President of Cinespace Chicago Film Studios, Alex Pissios
The company was founded by Alex Pissios in 2004 and has since built a reputation as one of the most popular soundstages in Chicago. Besides being the president of Cinespace, Alex Pissios is also an actor and producer who has appeared in over 30 films, including Chicago Fire and Empire. Soundstages are large spaces for film production that include everything from walls to ceilings, lights, and cameras. They allow productions to have control over their surroundings to create an environment for filming without having to worry about outside interference.
Pissios developed more than half a million square feet of space in the North Lawndale neighborhood over 15 years, which has attracted major productions, including Chicago Fire and Empire. He built a studio there, and then it got bigger. Alex Pissios has been working on this for over 15 years now, and he has successfully attracted companies like Netflix to use his facilities.
The studio is currently planning an expansion on the South Side with the help of a $10 million grant from the city. The expansion will be located at 7300 S. Halsted St. and will create over 200 new jobs for residents in Englewood, West Englewood, Back of the Yards, Gage Park, and Washington Park.
The project includes rehabbing 12 buildings and constructing six new ones across 28 acres owned by developer Howard Kleinman’s Full Circle Communities Inc., specializing in affordable housing development.