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Council Hears Request To Film Movie On Boardwalk

Managing Editor

CAROLINA BEACH - A representative of an Ashville, NC based film production company requested permission from the Carolina Beach Town Council at their June 10th, meeting to film a movie on the Boardwalk later this summer.
The movie will star Zach Galifianakis and Owen Wilson. The comedy is based on a 1997 heist of $17.3 million dollars from a vault at the Charlotte based Loomis Fargo & Company. The heist was planned by a vault supervisor and an armored truck driver. Filming will require modifications to the appearance of some storefronts in the Boardwalk area to fit the setting of Cancun Mexico in 1997.
The Council was concerned about the impact the production would have on local businesses in the days just before the busy Labor Day holiday weekend.
Thomas Parris - Location Manager for the production - told the Council filming is planned for the week of August 25th to the 29th depending on actor availability. He said filming would not occur over Labor Day weekend. Parris explained the production would begin filming in Asheville, NC and wrap up filming in the Wilmington area. He said the Carolina Beach Boardwalk and Cancun have similar architecture and color schemes. They would come in and dress up the area with paint and other temporary modifications including signs.
Parris said they would contract with local businesses including compensation for any impacts to their normal operations during the three days of filming.
Filming would take place down the main walkway of the Boardwalk business area in front of the arcade, Britt's Donuts, Frank's Pizza and other businesses.
The production would return the area to its original state. If a building is painted, the company will ask them if they want the color to remain or painted a different color.
Parris said during filming there would be limited impact on businesses. The area would not be shut down, but during actual filming people in the area would be asked to step out of the camera angle for short periods of time.
He said, "For the most part, businesses should be able to be open. The only time I fore see any kind of major impact is when we are doing the fall stunt and the escape stunt."
He said in addition to safety reasons during stunt shots, the film is set in 1997 and they wouldn't want someone walking around with an iPhone in their hand.
Mayor Wilcox said if filming occurred in the off-season, there would be little concern. Since it's right before a major holiday weekend he and other Council members wanted assurance that a majority of business owners were not opposed to the project.
Bobby Nivens owns Britt's Donuts and said he had not signed an agreement with the film company. Local business owner Duke Hagestrom said he had spoken with someone, but had not agreed to anything at that time.
Wilcox said, "It's not our busiest week, but it's still busy" and, "There are people coming in the whole week for Labor Day weekend."
He said it's important that the businesses agree but, "It's disruption of services. If we are shutting down businesses and visitors are there to enjoy their week and they can't get into a restaurant and they can't get a Britt's Donut they are going to come with their rifles looking for us."
The Council ultimately agreed to give Parris more time to meet with local businesses and consider the permit at a future special meeting.
The Council scheduled a special meeting for July 2nd at 6PM at Town Hall.