LOCKHART, Texas -- The City of Lockhart has been transformed as streets are closed down for the filming of "Transformers 4."
Big budget movies have big crews and all those people mean big bucks for the small city. Lockhart's Director of Economic Development Sandra Mauldin tells KVUE that since the producers decided to shoot in Lockhart back in January, close to $70,000 has been pumped into the economy.
To get the shots they need, like big action chases, they need to shut down roads for safety. The entire downtown square in Lockhart is closed to traffic, and that's reducing foot traffic outside to about 30 businesses.
One business owner who's lived in Lockhart his whole life told KVUE he doesn't mind the one or two-day slowdown, adding that it's just part of living in such a film-friendly town.
"They come in, they spend money, they eat here, they buy gas and hopefully they spend the night here. It's good to bring recognition to the city of Lockhart. Maybe once they see our courthouse they'll want to come in and visit the community," resident Fermin Islas said.
Cathy Roland owns the Dancing Center Unlimited on Main. She says they were just asked not to be in the street or park in the restricted areas. She even got a glimpse of one of the stars on her walk to lunch.
"Then a car pulled up, and Mark Walhberg got out, and I did not have my phone, so I didn't get to take a picture, but he looked right at me, and he is just as good looking in person as he is on TV," Roland said.
Deward Cummings says the film's producers contacted him earlier this year because they wanted to film a scene at his workshop. He agreed.
"In the long run the publicity, they're gonna get more movies. It's been the buzz I tell you for a long time," Cummings said.
Filming has also taken place in Elgin, Taylor and Pflugerville. It's expected that scenes from Lockhart and Taylor will be combined to create one fictional town in the movie.
Lockhart's downtown square is no stranger to film crews. Mauldin says this is the fourth professional shoot to film in the city in this year.
"Transformers 4" is expected to hit theaters in June 2014.