Arnold in Belen, NM

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Arnold in Belen, NM

Post  Banjo on 2011-10-09, 13:07

Some of you rode the Rail Runner down there...,_New_Mexico

Written by Abigail R. Ortiz/News-Bulletin
Saturday, 08 October 2011 07:00

With Belen's old city hall receiving a face lift and movie sets springing up in downtown Belen, it's clear crews will soon start filming a modern-day western.

Brent Ruffner-News-Bulletin photo: Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger talks to a man from the movie’s wardrobe department for the film “The Last Stand” in front of the old Belen City Hall building on Tuesday.

Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger appeared on set Tuesday, Oct. 4, to conduct test shots for "The Last Stand." But it may take a little longer for Schwarzenegger to begin acting as the movie's border town sheriff.

The tentative filming schedule is set to begin the week of October 17, but may be pushed back, said Lawrence Kaneshiro, the city's information technology director.

"Right now, there's a hold on Schwarzenegger's schedule and (the location managers) didn't think he could get on set," he said, adding that filming may begin one week later.

Crews are bustling around the city of Belen creating sets and giving one city-owned building a new life.

Belen's old city hall and police station, vacant for 10 years, is being set up room by room as Schwarzenegger's sheriff's station.

Crews cleared out cobwebs, threw out old, rusted furniture and particle boards, patched up holes in the walls, uncovered wooden floors from underneath a carpet, replaced broken windows and repainted walls.

"They've cleaned up a lot and have done a lot of work," said Andrew DiCamillo, the city's planning and economic development director.

Two building sets are going up at Becker Avenue and Second Street, but Kaneshiro said all the action is going to take place in front of those buildings.

Other sets are planned to be built along Becker Avenue in empty parking lots, including a large fountain in the middle of the street.

The city is receiving $1,000 per month as a user fee for the old city hall, which will compensate the city for "inconveniences" from filming, such as blocking off roads and the use of parking lots and diverting traffic.

"The Last Stand" is a movie about convicts who are making their way to the Mexican border through New Mexico after escaping a prison in Las Vegas, Nev.

They make their way toward the border in a stolen car worth $5 million, but soon learn that the border town sheriff, played by Schwarzenegger, is standing between them and their freedom.

Locations manager Paul Roberts said he couldn't release information about the film, including if they had finished casting roles.

Actors Peter Stormare and Rodrigo Santoro were cast for the film, according to IMDb's website.

Stormare has played roles in "The Big Lebowski," "Armageddon" and "The Lost World: Jurassic Park."

Santoro has played roles in "300," "I Love You Phillip Morris" and "Rio."

Filming is scheduled to begin at the old city hall and police station before moving to East River Road and the Belen Hotel, which will be set up as a diner.

The majority of the shots will be taken on Becker Avenue, Kaneshiro said.

The film will feature special effects, such as firing weapons, and filming will occur during the day, Kaneshiro said.

During filming, street closures and delays will be posted on the city of Belen's website at

The movie is scheduled to be released in 2013.

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