AMITE – The action movie 2 Guns has boosted business to the Boston Restaurant by a hundred patrons already. Some innkeepers like Comfort Inn are already full with guests not related to the movie. Ace Hardware reports business from contractors and subs who are building the sets for the movie starring Denzel Washington, Mark Wahlberg, Paula Patton and others. Mike's Catfish Inn expects to see some impact starting Friday. Donuts and coffee and sun tan lotion are selling briskly.
And the newest Amite restaurant expects to cater up to 175 cast and crew daily in the next 10 days or so.
The Boston Restaurant, open in downtown Amite about two weeks, is being included in the filming of the action thriller movie 2 Guns.
The movie continues to be filmed in Amite starting again July 23.
Over at Mike's Catfish Inn, co-owner Rose Sumrall says of the 2 Guns impact: "It's too early to tell. We'll know more after tomorrow when more get here." Mike's Catfish will be one of the first restaurants that filmmakers cast and crew see when they exit I-55 from New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Shreveport--or Hollywood. Rose and Mike Sumrall and son Keith and their staff are celebrating their 32nd anniversary these days.
So 2 Guns contractors are buying locally?
Craig Tassin at Ace Hardware in Amite reports that contractors have come into his store for nails, paint and other must-have elements of the movie set.
Comfort Inn in Amite reports that the hotel is already no vacancy with current guests and they have referred 2 Guns cast and crew to Hoiiday Inn Express and other innkeepers in the area.
Did someone say coffee and donuts? With early mornings and late night sessions, donuts and caffeine are in demand. "They needed jelly donuts for a scene," said Ashley Adamson of the Amite Chamber. "I've seen coffee cups from RaceTrack, McDonald's--and sometimes I fix them Community Coffee," she said. "They've gone to Cooper's Bakery for three or four dozen donuts at a time."
Pass the sun tan lotion--and the aspirin. "They've gone to Thrift Town Pharmacy and Walgreen's for Advil and things like sun tan lotion," said Adamson.
Other local purchases include ice (from Shell) and water. (Are you available, Kentwood Springs Water?)
Master Chef owner Tony LaMarca says, "The movie being filmed in town has not affected me one or the other, my cliente-crowd has not changed because of the movie being in town." He said the only thing he has noticed is his customers talking excitedly, in a positive way about the movie. He himself said, "I'm glad they (the film people) are here for Amite's sake, the income, people it brings."
Pat Murphy with Murphy's Restaurant says he's seen no obvious people from the movie who have eaten at this restaurant. His Oak Street business so far has not been affected by it one way or the other.
Boston Restaurant Manager Jonathon Wong recently talked about how the restaurant is involved in the movie’s filming.
The 2 Guns movie crew and support staff is using their upstairs restaurant for catering and feeding their crew/support staff.
They'll be hungry and they'll number from 150 to 175 crew members, according to Mark Welch, location coordinator. Welch expects many of the crew to eat out locally in Amite in the evening.
“Beginning Monday, July 23 through Monday, July 30th the movie people will be blocking off the main entrance to the restaurant and will be rerouting customers from the main front entrance to the side entrance, the second entrance near the bar.
The restaurant’s address is 100 NE Central, Amite/East Oak Street. That's right across from filming at the Amite Chamber of Commerce, Weldon Russell Realtor and the Amite Police Department. Restaurant patrons are being rerouted to be sent mainly to the NE Central Avenue location which faces the Police Department.
The APD will also be the set for 2 Guns, starting with Chief Jerry Trabona's office.
--APD patrol cars.
--Vintage APD uniforms.
Oh yes, Amite police officers have served as security, around $50/hour. And a couple of officers may be extras--at minimum wage, according to Chief Trabona. Extras may make around $100/day, according to Amite Chamber of Commerce president Jeremy Adamson.
While the restaurant is being used in the filming of 2 Guns, the film crew will be covering the sign “Boston Restaurant.” It will be replaced with another one for the movie, which is set in Amite City, Texas.
Wong expects a temporary banner to put up above the second entrance to the restaurant that their customers would be using during the week of filming.
The Boston is owned and operated by the Wong family, who have developed flagship restaurants including Trey Yuen in Hammond and Mandeville.
How has the filming of the movie affected his family-owned restaurant?
“It has really increased the amount of people that have come into town, into my restaurant. It (the movie) has brought probably 100 or so more people than we would have had otherwise and because, of this I am pleased, happy to help the movie crew, see them.”
Christina King, manager of Central Avenue Sports Bar, said the movie people are supposed to be using the front of the bar's window in the movie and is redecorating the entire front starting this weekend Friday or Saturday. She also said that she heard yesterday from Mark Welch, "2 Guns" location coordinator that 150 workers/crew will be in town working on the movie and visiting in Amite's local bars, restaurants and hotels for the next 12 days. Ms. King said, "We are looking forward to accomodating them as is the rest of the town."
As for Joe Joe's Seafood and Hi-Hi Restaurant on Oak Street, a sign says they are closed for vacation.