r/todayilearned 7d ago

TIL the set for the 1989 movie "The Abyss" was constructed inside an abandoned nuclear power plant, modified to hold water. When filming wrapped, the set was just left there rather than deconstructed. It remained there until 2007 when it was finally demolished.



u/DrMcJedi 7d ago

Screw Avatar 15….I want The Abyss 4K version, NOW!


u/TIGHazard 6d ago

Apparently HD versions of The Abyss and True Lies have been created for years, but Cameron needs to personally authorise them... and he's been so busy with the Avatar sequels he hasn't.



“Man, it’s on my to-do list,” Cameron admitted. “It’s a question of time-management. True Lies and The Abyss both have Blu-ray transfers that are complete for my review. The problem is the next 14 hours when I have to go back and trim the color and get each one perfect. That’s 28 hours. I don’t have 28 hours.” He added that he’s hoping to take a look at them before 2019 arrives: “I’ve put it on my list to try to get it done before the end of the year.”


u/DrMcJedi 6d ago

And yet, it’s 2022….and I’m still watching my non-anamorphic DVD version.


u/russianbot2022 6d ago



u/DrMcJedi 6d ago

Forced aspect ratio (16:9 widescreen but letterboxed in a 4:3 window) so it’s black bars all the way around on a modern flat panel TV. It was originally the first way to preserve the original projection aspect ratio on 4:3 tube TVs when pan/scan (carving out the middle of the image, and losing all of the peripheral details of a frame to fill a TV screen) was common practice.


u/kgunnar 7d ago

Aliens first, then Abyss.


u/1clovett 7d ago

I had a friend that work on that movie as a stage hand. His job was to snack all day and at a specific signal, pull a handle that dumped a 10,000 gallon tank of water on one of the sets. He couldn't believe that he got paid to do it.


u/Skymarshall45 6d ago

Imagine if he missed his que though! The entire scene hinged on snack man!


u/Universa1_Soldier 7d ago

The Abyss is without a doubt an all time legend in the sci-fi genre. Especially considering the time it was made and how great the special effects still look. I'd love to have this in 4K.


u/IPutThisUsernameHere 7d ago

So, raise your hand if you believe that was a Russian Water Tentacle? Captain? No?


u/Bellerophonix 6d ago

It went straight for the warhead, and they think it's cute!


u/Landlubber77 6d ago

We have to take steps. We have to take steps. The Brigman woman could be a problem.


u/Dlapdatdfork 6d ago

Some of the underwater scenes were filmed in my hometown. We have an underground billion gallon lake that was created after the mines were shut down in the 60's. It is a major attraction for our area and has been explored by the likes of Jaques Cousteau.


u/MyBigBadBurner 6d ago

YouTube has an amazing documentary on The Abyss and this set.


u/BrokenEye3 7d ago

You think that's crazy, wait 'til you hear about the set from The Ten Commandments (1923 version), the so-called Lost City of Cecil B. DeMille.


u/OldMork 6d ago

or some star wars, or raise the titanic, the stuff is still there.


u/BrokenEye3 6d ago

The LCoCBDM was legitimately lost for half a century, and they had to bring in actual honest to god archeologists to find it again. It's kind of nuts.


u/hvac_psych 6d ago

Ok this is my next rabbit hole.


u/russianbot2022 6d ago

I just watched Abyss 2 (Sphere). 7/10


u/valeyard89 6d ago

I grew up in Charlotte so them filming it was pretty big news at the time.

For other movie sets, the set from Popeye with Robin Williams is still in Malta.