The story involves glitz, intrigue, and indictments. No, it’s not a soap opera plot. It’s
the amazingly true story behind the still-proposed Plymouth Rock Studios in

The story of the proposed Plymouth Rock Studio is almost a screenplay-in-the-making
in itself. It includes glamour, glitz, intrigue, deal making, lawsuits, money and criminal
indictments. The project, which was announced four years ago with champagne popping-
like fanfare, promised to be the Massachusetts film industry’s answer to Hollywood. But
then, every few months, a new twist or turn to the story would materialize that would
push the groundbreaking date further into the future. On June 1st, in anti-climatic
fashion, the artistic side and the development side of the company announced a
parting of the ways in their once-joint venture.

Plymouth Rock Studios Holding LLC (PRSH) and Rock Entertainment LLC (REN) have now
announced that they are now two separate entities. PRSH have relocated their head of
operations at the Waverly Golf Course in Plymouth, MA. This location is the proposed
site of the Plymouth Rock Studio and PRSH will be focusing on obtaining project
funding, pre-leasing and closing on the actual purchase of the golf course. William
Wynne will continue as CEO and Joseph DiLorenzo will continue as COO of the
company. According to the announcement, another new construction date of “later this
year” will allow the studio to open in 2012.

David Kirkpatrick, the former driving force behind the studio, will now be the CEO of
REN. The focus of REN will now be “motion pictures, television, social networking,
education and responsible innovation.”
The studio saga began in 2006, when David
Kirkpatrick, a former head of Paramount Motion Pictures, announced plans to build a
$500 million studio, with 14 sound stages, office building, post-production facilities, a
hotel, restaurants, theater, visitors center and retail space. It was described as a
tourist mecca that would create an estimated 3,160 local jobs, according to its
developers. State officials, excited by the idea, initially offered up $100 million in
tax benefits and other benefits to Kirkpatrick’s group. The group, of which he was one
of the six cofounders, called itself Good News Holdings.

At the time of Kirkpatrick’s announcements, Massachusetts businessman Mark
Panagiotes was also involved in the studio plan, initially called “Bay State Studios.” A
schism fractured the alliance and Panagiotes filed a lawsuit. An undisclosed financial
settlement was reached and studio plans proceeded.It appears, however, that when
Kirkpatrick found another studio investor, another schism occurred between him and
Good News Holdings. Kirkpatrick was approached by George Thomas Bobbitt, who
offered to invest $200 million into the studio project. But the money that Bobbitt
offered up never appeared. What did appear was the disclosure that he was a
convicted embezzler who had served time in prison. This chapter in the saga produced
another legal fight, between Kirkpatrick and Good News Holding.

Kirkpatrick pushed on with his studio dream. The project, now known as Plymouth Rock
Studios, attracted a new partner, Joseph DiLorenzo, a former Boston Celtic executive. A
new push for funding was on. In October 2008, the Town of Plymouth overwhelmingly
approved the studio project and all the projected benefits presented by the developers.
Voters were told groundbreaking would begin in late 2009, with completion at the end
of 2010. But more roadblocks to the project were on the way.

In mid-2009, Massachusetts denied the project $50 million in state funding that would
have helped pay for road and sewer work. And the group missed the November deadline
to complete the $16.5 million purchase of Waverly Oaks. Another funding deal that
would have given the group the funds to complete the purchase failed to materialize.

Two months before, Kirkpatrick had announced $500 million funding from Prosperity
International of Orlando, FL, headed by Michael Burgess. Burgess promised to secure
the loan for the group, and Plymouth Rock Studios gave him $3.5 million as a collateral
deposit. Not only did the funds never materialize, but Burgess never returned the group’
s deposit. Burgess is currently being held in custody by the US Attorney’s office in
Florida after being indicted on 42 counts of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire

It now appears, with this latest announcement, that Plymouth Rock Studios will no
longer have David Kirkpatrick at the helm. Instead, when his company, REN, is ready to
set up an office, he could be one of its tenants. For now, according to a blog he wrote
on his company’s website/networking site,, Rock
Entertainment would “maintain its Judeo Christian philosophy in implementing its
As the Studio Turns: The Saga of
Plymouth Rock Studios
by Roland Hansen
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