Businesses excited as ‘Godzilla’ filming shuts down part of Waikiki

Godzilla Waikiki Filming

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Anyone with heading into Waikiki Wednesday night may want to avoid Lewers Street. The filming of “Godzilla” has shut down the road.

After a couple of weeks of productions on Oahu, filming of the major motion picture wraps up with the final shoot.

Lewers Street between Don Ho Street and Kalia Road will be closed until 5 a.m. Thursday.

“Godzilla” is the first movie or TV project to ever close Lewers Street.

Cables and lights were put in place Wednesday afternoon as crews prepare for the shooting of one of the big scenes in the new movie.

Waikiki Beachwalk visitors were enjoying the sunny weather and attractions along the busy street. KHON2 checked in with restaurants on Beachwalk to get their reaction to the planned mayhem.

“Yeah, we’re pretty excited. I’m expecting everybody about 6:30 p.m., 7 o’clock. They’re doing a casting call so it should be packed. So we’re excited about that and we’re all squared away,” said Travis Downing, with Yardhouse.

Parts of nearly all the restaurants along Beachwalk will have to be closed, but the film company has compensated the establishments for lost revenue. As for the staff?

“Yeah, they’re all buzzed about it. I don’t know if everybody thinks they’re going to be on camera or whatever, but they’re just excited. Hopefully catch a celebrity or something,” Downing said.

It’s difficult to get a handle on what’s planned for Wednesday night, but KHON2 heard a rumor.

“I do know that at Coffee, Bean and Tea Leaf, there is going to be a major scene right at the entry there. In fact, they’ve removed the doors and I think it’s all part of the tsunami,” Outrigger Enterprises Group Vice President Barbara Campbell said.

In spite of that, the movie industry has been quite good for Hawaii’s economy.

“Just alone in 2012, it was like $245 million in revenues and over 2,500 jobs. And not only that, the world is going to get to see this major motion picture,” Campbell said. “This gives us a perfect opportunity to showcase Waikiki Beachwalk and all the great restaurants and retail that we have so we’re all really excited.”

Among those restaurants, Giovanni Pastrami is right next door to the Coffee, Bean and Tea Leaf, where the big scene unfolds.

“They’ve rented out the lower level of our restaurant and they’ll be staging all their equipment and everything out of here. Our guests will have a unique opportunity of the production side of a movie being filmed,” said Russell McGuire with Giovanni Pastrami.

Lights, camera… plenty of action Wednesday night on Waikiki Beachwalk.

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