'Godzilla' shuts down portion of Waikiki

Lewers Street is scene of movie's final shoot

Published  10:19 PM HST Jul 17, 2013
HONOLULU -

Portions of Lewers Street in Waikiki were closed Wednesday night because of a giant reptile.

"Godzilla" was back in town for the motion picture's final night of production and shooting a movie on a busy street is no easy task. Even before the cameras started rolling, hundreds of locals and tourists couldn't resist a closer look.

"Very interesting," said Lance Hookano, a local resident hired by "Godzilla" to help set up the scene. "I've never seen this before in my life. This is unreal."

When asked why she's spending her time on a street instead of a beach, Jiandan Zheng, of China said, "Because we can see the other day. This is something like once in (a) lifetime, right?"

And once in a lifetime exposure for Hawaii, especially the dozens of businesses along Lewers. A street chosen because of its brightness and architecture, according to Mike Fantasia, the movie's location manager.

"Everybody's been very cooperative," Fantasia said. "We signed location agreements with about 50 business owners and business managers. Everybody's been fantastic. The city has been great. The department of transportation, police, fire, everybody's been fantastic in trying to make this happen."

KITV4 News has learned that the scene will be of hundreds of people running away from a tsunami generated by "something" in the ocean and that the movie will focus on a bunch of characters that run into The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, which "Godzilla" officials compensated to shut down after midday.

"As a local company, we'll do whatever we can to support jobs in our community," said Roger Wall, vice chairman of Sullivan Family Companies, which manages The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf in Hawaii. "But we're also thrilled that The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, which is a global brand, will be showcased in an exciting film like this."

A film that hopefully runs things to an exciting future for film and television production in Hawaii.

"We've got the right combination," Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie said. "I think our new film credit, we've added another 5 percent to it, I think is an attractive feature."

About 20 percent "Godzilla" was shot in Hawaii. Legendary Pictures is producing the movie. "Godzilla" is being distributed by Warner Brothers and is scheduled to be released May 16, 2014.

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