Coming Soon to a Theater Near You: Film Las Cruces

Mark Vasconcellos
Producer and actor Mark Vasconcellos address a large crowd at the Grand Opening of the Film Las Cruces sound stage. Behind him is a set made inside an actual Learjet.

After watching movies and hit TV series such as Breaking Bad and Longmire succeed in Northern New Mexico, Las Cruces filmmakers dreamed of a strong film presence here. Ten years in the dreaming, planning, and making, the largest sound stage on the U.S. Southern Border officially opened today at Film Las Cruces on Valley Drive.

The Film Las Cruces sound stage came together as a massive partnership between state legislators, the Film Las Cruces Board of Directors, Doña Ana Community College, and the local film industry.

After a decade of pushing toward Friday’s Grand Opening, producer and actor Mark Vasconcellos couldn’t hide his excitement.

“I’m totally stoked. I’m super excited because when you think about it now—think about where we’re standing. This does not exist along the American border between Mexico. There is not sound stage this big along the U.S.-Mexico border,” Vasconcellos said.

The sound stage is about more than making movies, he explained. It’s about moving the economy forward.

“This could be a facility that really builds industry down here. So we can capitalize pretty much on the entire southwest for film production. And if a TV show comes here for five years, they’re going to drop hundreds of millions of dollars. They’re going to hire lots of crew. And it’s just pure economic development,” he said.

City Councilor Gabe Vasquez said the Council is looking for ways to incentivize filmmaking in Las Cruces. The sound stage—and the beautiful scenery of Southern New Mexico—represent an opportunity too good to be overlooked.

“We’ve got to capitalize on the opportunities that we have—not just with the industry—but with our workforce, with the young people that we have,” Vasquez said.

Hopefully, coming soon to a theater or streaming service near you, a production filmed entirely in Southern New Mexico.