By the end of the 1930s, most movie productions moved West to California as Hollywood became the center of the film world. In 1942, with fewer movies being produced in New York, Kaufman Astoria Studios was taken over by the United States Army Signal Corps Army Pictorial Service at the start of World War II. The Army used the facilities to produce training and other instructional videos for military use, which they continued to do after the War. The Army Signal Corps stopped production at the Studio in 1970.
The Federal Government took control of the property in 1970 after the Army classified it as surplus property. Under the Federal Government's control, the Studio was used for the production of Thieves (1975) and The Next Man (1976). It was also leased out several times. The City of New York gained the title of the property from the Federal Government in 1982.
After the City of New York took control, the property was leased to George Kaufman, a real estate developer. The Studio was renovated under Kaufman, with additional buildings added to the facility as well. Since then, Kaufman Astoria Studios has once again become a center of the film community in New York City, producing films like The Wiz, Hair, Glengarry Glen Ross, and Carlito's Way.