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If 6th Street Viaduct is Torn Down, Where Will the Filming Go?

By Eric Richardson
Published: Wednesday, December 14, 2011, at 05:27PM
Dark Knight Filming at 6th Street Bridge Sterling Davis [www.onsetla.com]

Filming for "The Dark Knight" takes place in September on a set built out underneath the 6th Street Bridge. The 1933 span has hosted more than 100 productions in 2011.

After five years of study, a vote last month by City Council almost certainly sealed the fate of Downtown's iconic 6th Street Viaduct, a historic span that is cursed with a condition that engineers describe as concrete cancer.

While the bridge's loss will be tough on preservationists and, at least for a few years, motorists, the group that may be most affected by the impending demolition may well be the film industry.

The bridge is perhaps the most-filmed landmark in Downtown, with as many shoots taking place under the bridge as on top of it. Already this month, 11 shoots are permitted either on or under the western side of the 3,500 foot structure. A cursory review of 2011 permits show that more that 100 productions have been on or under the bridge this year.

Those shoots run the gamut from stills and commercials to feature films, and use all aspects of the 1933 span.

Yesterday, FOX was on the bridge shooting scenes for new Kiefer Sutherland drama "Touch." Tomorrow, both America's Most Wanted and NCIS are scheduled to shoot on the access roads underneath.

On Friday, Jeremy & Claire Weiss shoot a still campaign titled "Marlboro" in the river access tunnel, then on Saturday a Toyota spot shoots up on top.

Even with the bridge's fate set, filming does still have a little time. Right-of-way acquisition and design is expected to start early in 2012, but construction would not start until the fall of 2014. The new bridge—whatever it ends up looking like—would open up in 2018.

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