Businesses on the ‘surreal’ moment Hollywood came to Letchworth

BUSINESSES have been speaking about the “surreal” moment Hollywood came to town.

Newly-named pubs popped up last week when Letchworth GC town centre was turned into a film set for The World’s End.

The Colonnade became The Two Headed Dog, while the JD Wetherspoon The Three Magnets was renamed The Trusty Servant during the two days of filming last Tuesday and Wednesday.

Hollywood stars Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Martin Freeman and Paddy Considine were all in the town shooting scenes for the movie, which is based on an epic pub crawl with an apocalyptic twist.

Paul Ward, general manager of The Colonnade, admitted he wasn’t convinced it was really happening until repeated visits from the production team.

He said: “I’m a massive film buff and I thought they were having me on. The first couple of times they visited I thought they were making it up. At first I thought it was going to be a low budget student-type film and I didn’t quite believe it until the third time when lots of people turned up looking official with clipboards and discussing shots.

“It was surreal to see Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, until I saw them I wasn’t actually convinced it was going to happen. It’s going to be amazing to see it next year and be able to say ‘that’s my pub’. It was the only thing customers were talking about for a few days and they all seem really positive about it.”

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Deputy manager of The Three Magnets, Charlie LeMoir, was able to see the famous actors up close with filming both inside and outside the pub.

She said: “I think it’s great to be involved in the film and it should be brilliant when it comes out. It was good fun and it’s good for the town.”

Customers were still being served during the filming, although both managers admitted they had to explain on more than one occasion that the name-change was only temporary.

Cameras were also rolling at The Broadway Hotel in Broadway, where the film crew stayed for the duration.

Much of the action took place outside Esquires Coffee, with the shop seeing an upturn in business as a result.

Dilip Shah, owner of the Letchworth GC branch, said: “It was a little bit busier than usual and we also has people coming in getting drinks for the actors. We just need more things like this to happen in Letchworth.”

Further filming is due to take place on Wednesday in the town and continues until early December.

The World’s End is expected to be released in August 2013.