Summer is the perfect time to pay tribute to the importance of the entertainment industry and of the film and television business in particular to New York City. With our strong heritage of movie and tv production and our scores of historic and eclectic movie houses, our city has always been the foremost background for films, more than any other city in the world.
Over the last five years, the growth of the City's motion picture industry hasn't only enhanced our cultural life, it has strengthened our economy as well. Last year, direct expenditures from the production of films, television series and specials, commercials, and music videos continued to grow at record levels for the fourth consecutive year reaching an unprecedented $2.37 billion with more than 105 television shows, over 200 movies, and more than 4,000 commercials made in the city. Between 1994 and 1997, the motion picture services industry registered job growth of 47.5 percent.
This week, to build on this record of success, the city made an announcement that will create even more jobs, project New York City's image on more screens throughout the world, and help ensure that we remain the entertainment capital of the world well into the next century. On Friday, we unveiled plans for the Hudson River Studios, a brand new, $120 million privately developed production and post-production complex that will be the largest studio in Manhattan and the first to be equipped with digital and high definition television.
This facility will rival any studio on the West Coast. It will answer all the needs of production companies, program suppliers, and advertising agencies with state-of-the-art soundstages and equipment. So if you pass by, peek in, and see people crying their eyes out, don't worry they're not unhappy with the facility they're just actors in one of the two daytime dramas that are serving as anchor tenants of the studio, Guiding Light and As the World Turns. The complex is a great fit for Soho, where it's being built, and for the city as a whole because it will bring jobs, revenue, and intangible creative energy to the City of New York.
Finally, this week we laid to rest a hero Fire Captain Scott LaPiedra, who died after a 30-day battle with critical injuries he sustained in a fire last month. Every day, without hesitation, he put his life at risk to protect the people of the city. I want to extend my deepest condolences, and those of the City of New York, to Captain LaPiedra's colleagues, and most of all to his family. We will always remember him, and everything he has taught us about courage, service, and sacrifice.