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Thanks to the infusion of some key Hollywood players in the last few years, the Bay Area's importance to the film business has ratcheted dramatically upward.
The current wave started when Marin native Robin Williams and his producer wife, Marsha, decided to film "Mrs. Doubtfire" in the city in 1993.
Director Chris Columbus loved the city and moved in, and he now is basing his own productions in the Bay Area.
Barry Levinson was at the point in his career where he could get by living outside of Los Angeles ... but not too far away. Now the Marin-based director is filming the $75 million "Sphere" in the former naval station on Mare Island in the North Bay town of Vallejo.
The availability of raw warehouse space …