Hollywood counts on KC’s caves to store priceless, famous film collection

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — There’s a cave in Kansas City that’s protecting a priceless stash of Hollywood history.

“Most people are surprised to hear it’s here in Kansas City,” said Brian Corwin with Underground Vaults and Storage.

Deep in an underground cave, just a few miles north of downtown Kansas City, are the original “master prints” of just about every famous movie ever made.

“When they say they’re retrieving it from the vault, this is the vault,” Corwin said.

So why are half a million priceless reels and canisters — what most would consider a Hollywood goldmine — neatly stacked in what was once a limestone mine in KC?

“It provides the perfect temperature and humidity for that type of storage,” Corwin said.

FOX4’s cameras were allowed into the vault with one condition: For security reasons, the major movie studios won’t let us tell you the specific titles in the underground cinema stockpile.

So while we can’t tell you specifically what’s there, if you’ve heard of it, chances are it’s in this vault. Not in a galaxy far, far away and not at the end of a yellow brick road. Several original prints of films that won the Oscar for Best Picture are socked away here in Kansas City.

“Oscar winners and so forth, most of your classics from the 1930s and 40s are still here in the vault,” Corwin said.

But it’s not just movies. There are master copies of popular TV shows, too. But again, we can’t tell you which ones.

Underground Vaults and Storage also stores data and documents for local businesses and offers shredding services. But it’s the company’s role as guardians of Hollywood history that sets them apart.

“It’s kind of neat to be able to be a part of that here in the Midwest because most of the action is in California,” Corwin said.

And in case you’re wondering, the vault isn’t open to the public for tours.

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