NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — “In the Heights” arrives on the big screen Wednesday.

The movie was adapted from the 2008 Broadway musical about Washington Heights and there’s plenty of anticipation uptown.

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CBS2’s Aundrea Cline-Thomas spoke with the film’s creators about the movie’s message of hope.

“In the Heights” is about the hopes and dreams of a Dominican bodega owner, played by Anthony Ramos, a star in the making.

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Through music, a colorful mix of characters introduces the Washington Heights neighborhood to the world.

“School was where I went to learn about everyone but myself,” said Quiara Alegria Hudes, author and screenwriter. “So, I’m trying to add our piece of the narrative to, you know, to this nation’s bookshelves and cinemas.”

Alegria Hudes, who also wrote the book for the Broadway musical, teamed with Lin-Manuel Miranda again and director Jon Chu to bring the Tony Award-winning production to the big screen.

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The Washington Heights neighborhood is transformed into a movie set that features areas like Audubon Avenue and the Highbridge pool.

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“I would say hundreds of people from the neighborhood and including the last, even the end credits are pictures taken by people of the neighborhood, of the neighborhood themselves,” said Chu.

Resident Louis Castelan may get his five seconds of fame.

“I would have to go to the store, so they would be like, ‘Hold on, wait a minute,’ and then when the scene started, they were like, ‘Just walk through,’ and we would just walk through as extras,” he told Cline-Thomas.

The film is already getting rave reviews. Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez said Hollywood should take notice.

“That there’s a commitment to bring actors, to bring the sound engineer, to bring that director that should look like what the United States is, which is a diverse country,” Rodriguez said.

It’s a narrative providing authenticity to the storytelling of a community of immigrants.

“For many decades, there have been so many negative profiles. People would look at us about crack. People look at us as people who have to be dealing with crimes and violence,” Rodriguez said.

While the pandemic delayed the movie’s release, its creators said the message is right on time.

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This report originally appeared on June 7, 2021 and has since been updated. 

Aundrea Cline-Thomas