The elephant doors will soon open on a new film-making facility in St. Petersburg. Russian World Studios, after three years of construction delays, plans to open its new studios in September.

The facility will feature six sound stages - four of them 750-square meters - plus support and post-production facilities. Russian director and studio general director Dmitry Meskhiev said the facility would be able to handle as many as seven features a year as well as smaller projects.

The project is a joint venture between producer Russian World Studios and holding company AFK Sistema. Local press put the cost of construction on the project, which will continue over the next three years, at $250m. Sistema hopes to recoup their investment in seven years.

Sistema general director Andrei Smirnov said his company is in negotiations to buy facilities in the Baltics and in the Mediterranean. RWS is also planning to shoot several television projects in China, he said Sistema and RWS plan additional facilities in Moscow and Anapa.

St. Petersburg is already home to Lenfilm, one of the oldest studios in Russia. Developer TriGranit, owned by Hungarian real estate mogul Sandor Demjan, who also owns Korda Studios in Budapest, also plans to build a film and TV production facility in the city.