By Charles Sercombe
Hamtramck is going to act as a stand in for Detroit in an upcoming major movie production this summer.
A portion of Jos. Campau, somewhere between Holbrook and Caniff, will be transformed back to 1967 where scenes of the Detroit riot will be recreated.
While Hamtramck was spared from any spillover violence from that incident, the storefronts here still resemble how part of Detroit looked back then.
But there will be a lot of cosmetic makeovers to be performed to get the right look for that period.
Shooting may begin in July. Before that, though, changes will be made to the street scene and storefronts.
The announcement of the production was made at Tuesday’s city council meeting. A representative from the production company, Patrick Mignano, gave a brief overview of the production.
So far, the title of the movie has not been chosen but it going under the moniker of “Untitled Detroit Project.”
The director of the movie is Kathryn Bigelow who won an Academy Award for her movie, “Zero Dark Thirty” – about the hunt for and killing of Osama bin Laden.
There is no word yet on who is starring in the Detroit movie.
Some changes for Jos. Campau may include the removal of sidewalk “bump outs,” which is something that City Manager Katrina Powell told The Review she was coincidentally planning to do this summer.
All businesses recruited to be a part of the film will be compensated for their lost business while the movie is being shot. The movie company will also pay to make changes to the facades and returning them back to normal.
“We’re so excited about this coming to our town,” Powell told city councilmembers.
This isn’t the first time Hamtramck has hosted a major movie production.
In 2010 a portion of the movie “Vamps” was filmed here, which starred Alicia Silverstone and Sigourney Weaver.
The year before, a number of scenes were filmed at Hamtramck High School for “Whip It,” a movie directed by Drew Barrymore.
In the 1990s many scenes for the movie “Polish Wedding” were shot here. Hamtramck’s link with Hollywood goes back to the 1980s and 1970s when several movies were filmed here.
In recent years a number of lesser-known films have also been shot here as well.
It’s probably a safe bet that in many years to come, Hamtramck will always be ready for its close up.