Second Street stores in Macon looking like Brooklyn for ‘42’ filming

lbibb@macon.comJune 12, 2012 

Production crews were busy painting and remaking storefronts in downtown Macon Tuesday, and crews moved outside for more scenes as filming continued for the movie “42.”

The Cox Capitol Theatre on Second Street was one of the venues getting a new look, as well as the Greek Corner Deli and other stores nearby.

Some storefronts are being altered more than others. Sid’s Sandwich Shop had gotten a fresh coat of paint by late Tuesday afternoon, but Red Light Tobacco and the Greek deli both had new facades. The row of businesses is being transformed to resemble a Brooklyn street scene from the 1940s as actors and crews continue their work on “42,” the movie about baseball legend Jackie Robinson’s exploits.

Signs are posted on the sidewalk to notify patrons that most of the Second Street stores will be open during filming.

Mallory Merritt, who works at the Greek Corner Deli, said the film crew is taking down the restaurant’s sign but will replace it when filming is complete. She also said employees have mixed feelings about the restaurant’s new facade.

One employee said he worries that business might suffer because customers could think that the restaurant isn’t open, she said. Merritt said she thinks business will actually get a boost from people who want to be near the set.

Wayne Temple, an assistant manager at The Rookery, had similar concerns. He said the restaurant has had a lull in traffic since construction began downtown, and he has received several calls asking if the restaurant is open.

Film crew members have filled the gap left by locals, Temple said, with many of them eating at the restaurant during lunch. The Rookery, along with most downtown restaurants, is open during filming.

Chase Williams, who works at Red Light Tobacco on Second Street, said he is excited about the transformation.

“We’re stoked,” he said. “Hopefully, it’ll work out in the long run to give us some exposure.”

The exterior of Red Light Tobacco is being made to look like a 1940s cigar shop. Williams said he is still “figuring out” what will be done to the new exterior after filming is complete. While crew members were preparing stores for street scenes downtown, cameras were rolling at the corner of High and Orange streets again Tuesday.

Clear skies allowed the cast and crew to move outside to film a scene in which Jackie Robinson, played by actor Chadwick Boseman, and his wife, Rachel, played by Nicole Beharie, walk up to the porch of Robinson’s mother’s house.

Antique cars lined the streets, and extras dressed in vintage clothing strolled by.

The cast is set to film crowd scenes at Luther Williams Field on Wednesday, weather permitting.

Drivers should expect some street closures because of filming. The list of street closures includes:

• Fifth and Cherry streets near Terminal Station on Thursday.

• Second Street from Cherry Street to Cotton Street on Friday.

• Third Street from Poplar Street to Cherry Street during the day Monday.

• Plum Street from Second Street to Third Street at night Monday.

To contact writer Liz Bibb, call 744-4425.

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