A Hollywood filmmaker with family ties to “Star Wars” star Carrie Fisher and “Singin’ in the Rain’ star Debbie Reynolds is selling his lavish San Luis Obispo County home for more than $4 million.
Todd Fisher said the decision to sell Freedom Farms in Creston was prompted in part by the deaths of his sister and mother 10 months ago.
“With my mother leaving the planet and my sister leaving the planet, it really changed our thinking about what we were doing out there,” he said.
Listed at $4.2 million, Freedom Farms features a 7,800-square-foot home with six bedrooms, five full bathroms, a movie theater, a gym and a swimming pool, plus a guesthouse, art studio, barn and caretakers’ quarters, on 44 acres of rolling farmland east of Atascadero.
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In addition, there are two large support buildings: a 6,000-square-foot sound stage and a 10,000-square-foot production facility — originally built to house Reynolds’ collection of Hollywood memorabilia — that includes offices, editing bays, workshops, a recording studio and a warehouse.
In 2015, Fisher estimated that the entire solar-powered complex was worth $6 million to $7 million. (He said the price has dropped “primarily because we’re pulling the production equipment out.”)
Freedom Farms officially went on the market Tuesday, according to Ellie Washington, marketing director at Wilson & Co. Sotheby’s International Realty in San Luis Obispo.
Fisher and his family publicized the sale during an auction of personal property belonging to Reynolds and Carrie Fisher that concluded Monday. Among the items being sold a life-size statue of the “Star Wars” actress as Princess Leia and costumes worn by Reynolds in “Annie Get Your Gun,” “Singin’ in the Rain” and “The Unsinkable Molly Brown.”
Fisher and his late wife, artist Christi Fisher, moved to San Luis Obispo County in 1988. He’s now married to actress, celebrity hypnotist and self-help author Catherine Hickland.
“We wanted to raise our children in a place that didn’t have the L.A. vibe,” Fisher told The Tribune in 2015.
In addition to serving as the Central Coast headquarters of the Hollywood Motion Picture Experience, Fisher’s film and television production company, Fisher said Freedom Farms became a family gathering place. His sister loved shopping at antique stores in nearby Paso Robles, he said.
“We’ve had many Christmases and Thanksgivings and many holidays there,” Fisher said. “A lot of things were created in that house. A lot of things were written in that house. ... It’s special. It’s kind of magical in many ways, and magic has been created there.”
Fisher had envisioned Freedom Farms as the home of a Hollywood-style studio, but said he clashed repeatedly with the San Luis Obispo County Planning & Building Department over zoning issues.
“They didn’t see how agriculture and the movie business were really compatible,” he said. “Every major studio in Los Angeles is built on agricultural land.”
With the deaths of his mother and sister in late December, Fisher decided to downsize his production company by putting a couple of its state-of-the-art facilities up for sale. The company, now based solely in Las Vegas, recently sold its North Hollywood headquarters, Debbie Reynolds Studio, for $6.1 million.
“We could still edit projects (in San Luis Obispo County). We could still use the location as a film location,” he said. “(But) without a support facility there, it makes it much more expensive.”
Fisher said he’s already fielded offers on Freedom Farms, which is still being operated as a ranch for cattle, horses and other livestock.
“We’ll see what happens in terms of the market. We’re not in any kind of rush here,” Fisher said, adding that he hasn’t completely ruled out keeping the Creston ranch. “We love the area. It’s a beautiful area. If we don’t get our price, we’re certainly not going to sell it.”