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VENTURA COUNTY ROUNDUP / West County | Ventura

Transformation for Travolta Film Begins

September 20, 2000|JOSH GOLDSTEIN

Filming for scenes of "Swordfish," an action movie staring John Travolta, is still a month away.

But set work has already begun in downtown Ventura.

Foot traffic Tuesday was slightly disrupted as workers prepared to install a new glass facade at the former Bank of Italy building at Main and Oak streets.

A covered walkway will soon be in place for pedestrians on Main Street.

Construction also continued across the street at the Bank of Books used bookstore, which will be converted into a coffee shop for the film.

Main Street will be closed to automobile traffic from California to Palm streets on weekdays from Oct. 18 to Nov. 10, said Skip Robinson, the city's film liaison.

Also affected will be Oak Street from Poli to Santa Clara streets.

The area will reopen on weekends, Robinson said.

Filming is not expected to disrupt area traffic and businesses, Robinson said, despite some concern of downtown business owners at a public meeting last month at City Hall.

Area streets will stay open to pedestrians, so residents can spot Travolta or watch some of the scenes, including cars smashing through windows, said Chris Gutierrez, a Warner Bros. location manager.

"Pedestrian traffic will be free to roam about," he said.

Many of the vehicles and equipment for the production will be stored at the nearby Ventura Fairgrounds on weekends so as not to clog downtown, Robinson said.

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