By Sara Brown
---- — NORTH ANDOVER - Hollywood is back in the Merrimack Valley yet again.
The HBO cast and crew took over Joe’s Landing Cafe at the Lawrence Municipal Airport in North Andover yesterday for the upcoming miniseries “Olive Kitteridge.”
The four-part series is based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning series of short stories of the same name by Elizabeth Strout. Published in 2008, the stories cover the lives of Olive Kitteridge and the people in a small town on the coast of Maine. It stars Academy Award winner Francis McDormand and is being produced by Tom Hanks and McDormand.
“This is really exciting,” diner owner Joe Chedid said. “It’s kind of a big deal.”
Chedid watched his beloved diner turned into a movie set right before his eyes.
“It’s exciting to see how everything transforms. It’s cool to see how the process works,” he said. “They have been changing signs and whatnot. Stuff you never really think of when you make a movie.”
This isn’t the first time Joe’s Landing has been used for cinematic purposes.
“Another movie was shot here about 4 or 5 years ago,” he said. “It had 'The Rock' in it. It’s nice to know movie producers think of us when they are filming movies here.”
It’s also good for business, said Chedid.
“It’s great advertisement for us. I also think it is good for the community. It gives us a sense of pride,” he said.
Chedid spent much of the day feeding the cast and crew.
“They have been great to work with,” he said.
HBO also shots scenes for the miniseries earlier this month in Haverhill.
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