Film crew leaves canyon rest area
GLENWOOD CANYON – A rest area or a movie set – at Glenwood Canyon’s Hanging Lake exit, it’s both.
Since Tuesday, the Hanging Lake rest area has been closed and transformed to a “base camp” for a film shoot scheduled there (see story, page 1).
The rest area was scheduled to be completely off-limits to motorists traveling through the canyon until Feb. 28. The closure would have allowed film crews to shoot a scene for the upcoming spy thriller, “Mr. and Mrs. Smith,” which stars Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.
But a “creative change” in the motion picture’s script Wednesday caused film crews to start packing up and moving out of the rest area, according to location manager Rick Schuler.
Thursday morning, the big digital sign over I-70 just west of No Name announced the closure of the rest area adjacent to the film’s location site.
“Hanging Lake rest area closed Feb. 17-28” it flashed at passing motorists.
The rest area off-ramps were blocked off with orange diamond-shaped “closed” signs and orange traffic cones at the east and west exits. The rest area’s location is a perfect location for film production crews to headquarter. Right off the highway, and next to where crews will be shooting, the area has a big broad parking lot ideal for pulling in trucks and trailers.
Thursday, the rest area itself was mostly deserted. A white Peterbilt production truck with the Universal Studios’ globe logo printed on its cab doors was parked in the lot.
Welden Schneider, stationed at the Colorado Department of Transportation Hanging Lake office, said he heard that film crews were pulling out of the rest area. He said he expected the rest area would re-open by 6 p.m., Friday.
“The only reason the rest area is closed now is because of the film,” he said. “We won’t remove the sign at No Name until we hear definitely that they’re completely out of the area.”
Film crews are expected to return, but Schuler isn’t sure when.
“We’ll be back,” he promised – and so will the rest area’s closure.