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WILMINGTON — It was a busy day for filming in downtown Wilmington. Special effects and big stars filled Front Street for the filming of “We’re the Millers,” but some business owners say the film traffic does not translate into traffic for their stores and restaurants.
There were some familiar and famous faces populating Front Street Monday afternoon.
Stars like Jason Sudeikis and Emma Roberts were on hand for some special effects scenes being shot downtown.
And while crowds came out to see the stars, some local business owners say Hollywood coming to Wilmington is more of a hindrance than a help.
“I’ve had some customers mention they’ve been stopped on the sidewalk, asked not to pass through, things like that, or divert to a secondary street. For some people that’s enough to make them turn around and go back,” said Paul Brown, owner of Java Dog Coffee House.
More than 600 residents and businesses downtown were warned they may lose water pressure while rain scenes were shot, but most said they didn’t notice a problem.
What Brown said he did notice Monday was a lack of business, even with signs that were put up by the movie’s crew informing people businesses were still open.
“A lot of people don’t see the signs, don’t read the signs, I’ve found in my experience,” Brown said.
But not everyone agrees. Some store employees said the cameras rolling outside actually bring film fans inside.
Assistant Manager at F.I.F.I., a downtown boutique, Cindy Stanforth said, “It’s just had people coming downtown who maybe wouldn’t have been. They stop in and ask lots of questions about what’s filming.”
When it comes down to it, Stanforth said any traffic downtown, whether people are shopping or not, is better than no traffic. And with tourists and locals alike swarming scene locations for a glimpse of their favorite actors, foot traffic won’t be a problem.
Some store owners also blame downtown road construction for periods of slower business.
Check out some fan photos from on set of We’re the Millers yesterday(August 13th) courtesy of Hannah Broders!