Ghost town: Alberta community transforms for Ghostbusters 2020 shoot

Red, white and blue banners line the main street of Fort Macleod as the red and white maple leaf flag can be seen waving in the background. The town is the latest location being used for filming Ghostbusters 2020.

Ghostbusters 2020 is the latest production to take over Fort Macleod

The Ghostbusters car, the Ecto 1, could be seen on the streets of Fort MacLeod Friday. (Helen Pike/CBC)

Residents and visitors to Fort Macleod have spent the last few days hanging out on main street, hoping to catch a glimpse of some famous faces.

The southern Alberta community has been transformed into a picturesque mid-western American town as the cast and crew of Ghostbusters 2020 film the latest instalment of the franchise.

The movie's location manager, Laszlo Uhrik, previously told CBC News the directors and production managers were drawn to the classic look of the town, about 170 kilometres south of Calgary. 

"Specifically, the main street — that block of buildings that has been maintained the way that it looks now gives a look that is timeless, in a sense," Uhrik said.

"It's really a beautiful block of buildings."

Laszlo Uhrik, location manager for the film, was drawn to Fort Macleod's timeless look. (CBC/Google Streetview)

Let Him Go, an upcoming drama starring Diane Lane and Kevin Costner, was shot in Fort Macleod in April.

Annette Peacock, who owns a retail store on Main Street, said she thinks the architecture keeps Hollywood coming back. 

"Our buildings are so historic and they're all in use, so they're all kept up," Peacock said. "There's a lot of play there for being able to transform them ... Not to mention, if they're doing any shooting outside of town, I mean, the scenery here is amazing. We're so close to the foothills and stuff."

Peacock's store has been revamped to look like a steakhouse during filming. It's so convincing, she's heard visitors to the town asking about the imaginary restaurant's reputation.

Fort Macleod resident and business owner Annette Peacock has enjoyed watching the production unfold from her store on Main Street. (Helen Pike/CBC)

Shooting makes it difficult for some customers to access local businesses, she said, but sales to cast and crew members have helped balance things out.

"Overall, the big picture: it's good for the town," Peacock said. "It puts us on the map a little bit more and it brings the community together, too. Everybody is chatting about it."

Christopher Friesen drove more than four hours from Edmonton to try to get a glimpse of actor Dan Aykroyd and the famed Ghostbusters car, the Ecto 1.

"That's just who I am," he said. "I love movies, so if you get a chance to see [the action], especially a movie like Ghostbusters being filmed, it doesn't come around to Alberta very often."

No update on whether he spotted Aykroyd, but the Ecto 1 has been seen by many all over town. 

Filming is expected to continue in Calgary and surrounding areas until October.

With files from Helen Pike


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