"I came to New York because of the films of Martin Scorsese and the Velvet Underground," says New York producer Ted Hope, whose credits include the debut features of Ang Lee, Todd Field and Michel Gondry. "But New York City has now become the island of the super-rich. It's hard to get a creative career going. That has changed the population."

Hope recalls when he first started out, he worked on "very low-budget indie films", costing no more than $3m. Today, that would no longer be possible, he notes. "I can't make these movies anymore. If you're shooting a film for $3m, $4m or $5m, you can't afford one day of studio shooting. There's a complete unbalance of financial resources."

The expense of New York has been driving some young, new directors to Austin, Texas, and to North Carolina, where they can live more cheaply, says Hope. From that point of view, "New York City is a little less vibrant."

But Hope and other industry figures point out film companies - and the industry - are thriving in New York City. And while New Line's departure put a brief damper on the city, most local film professionals believe it has more to do with New Line itself and Los Angeles, than New York City.

"Both Miramax and Focus' New York offices are as vibrant as ever," says Sarah Lash, senior sales executive at New York-based Cinetic Media.

In fact, homegrown companies such as Miramax have no intention of uprooting from their beloved hometown. "Obviously when I was brought in by (Walt Disney Studios chairman) Dick Cook to run Miramax, we discussed where it would be best for Miramax to be based," says the company's UK-born head, Daniel Battsek. "Dick was as fervent an advocate for it to remain in New York City as I was.

"Rather than have it close to the studio, we felt (NYC) was where Miramax is born and bred. Miramax thrives in New York because New York is home to independent film, to the independent film community as a whole," he says, adding that New York is also home to the sectors where the company looks for content, including theatre and literature.

Battsek rejects the suggestion the studios are generally tightening their reins and their New York offices are being forced to work more closely with their Los Angeles counterparts. "Yes, Miramax is owned by the Disney company, and Focus has been owned by Universal for many years," he says. "But functionally, the companies have decision-making capacity. There's no harm in there being a connection, so long as the decision-making is happening on the ground."

Importantly, New York is the unassailable hub of the US media industry. Global publicity for studio premieres is guaranteed in the city that is also home to the US's celebrity-photo press.

"Premieres are all about media coverage. And a premiere in New York has a bigger bang than in Los Angeles," says Cinetic's Lash. "There's more national media here."

With media, theatre and film all thriving in New York, perhaps foremost in the minds of the city's industry professionals is the fact the city is a vibrant film hub precisely because it is not a single-industry town.

"New York City is not a company town. There are lots of other industries," says Hope. "It's a centre of financing, publishing and politics. This creates a vibrant world. We enjoy the fact there are lots of film companies in town. But foremost it's the collaboration between industries that keeps everything alive."