CBS2’s Leah Mishkin spoke to businesses that benefited from the production in the city.READ MORE: Performances Of Off-Broadway Shows At The Theater Center Temporarily Called Off After Thieves Break In, Steal Copper Piping
The crowd was ready to watch its city on the big screen.
“They just changed everything here and you felt like you were actually in New York City in the 1950s,” Mayor Andre Sayegh said.
Pictures from the set were captured by Leigh Scheps from Inside Edition Digital. Filming took place in August of 2019. Sayegh said the production generated tons of money for businesses in the area.
“When they needed materials, they went to a local hardware store. When they needed food, they went to a local restaurant,” Sayegh said.
“Every day, between 50, 60 to 100 crew members walking around the streets of downtown,” added Orlando Cruz, executive director of Downtown Paterson Special Improvement District.
Sweet Cheese Deli’s manager, Angela Tavarez, told Mishkin the storefront was transformed into an old fashion radio store. Inside it was a breakfast spot for the crew.READ MORE: 'Harry Potter' Star James Snyder Fired From Broadway Show
“I had a kick with everybody. It was just fun. It was a good experience. I have a memory book of it,” Tavarez said.
The manager of the wig shop across the street said the store had to close for a few days, like other shops, but was compensated.
“It was actually real nice. It was real different,” JJ Wig’s Rose Rojas said.
“At the end of the day, the pros of what the businesses and local economy benefited from shortly outweighs the cons of traffic and some street closures,” Cruz added.
When asked if any of the big scenes were filmed in Paterson, Sayegh said, “Well, that would be like a spoiler alert, but I’m pretty sure because I could hear from my office the song ‘I Love to be in America.'”
“Are you going to rebrand Paterson as the West Side Story city?” Mishkin said.
“I already rebranded Paterson home of the Great Falls, great food, great future and now great filming. A few months after West Side Story was filmed, Aaron Sorkin came and filmed the ‘Trial of the Chicago 7,'” Sayegh said.
The New Jersey Motion Picture and Television Commission says $20 million was spent in Paterson and Newark, where part of West Side Story was also filmed. The state is also hoping it will get a big financial boost with extra tourism.MORE NEWS: 'MJ: The Musical' Takes To Street With Special 'Thriller' Performance For 'Slave Play' Cast
CBS2’s Leah Mishkin contributed to this report.