PATERSON, NJ – Paterson’s transformation into a 1950’s era New York City is coming to an end, but not before Mayor Andre Sayegh had a chance to present a key to the city to one of the most recognized figures in the film industry over the past several decades.

On Tuesday Sayegh welcomed Steven Spielberg to his office and thanked him for choosing Paterson as the location of the Hollywood mogul’s West Side Story.

“It's not every day that we have an American icon in our city filming an epic movie,” Sayegh said in a statement after the private ceremony. “That's why we appreciate Steven Spielberg for picking Paterson and for his very generous contribution to improve our parks. His presence in Paterson has helped enhance our image and stimulate our local economy.”

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The filming, Sayegh and other city officials have said, did more than just create opportunities for photographers to capture pictures of Paterson in a way it’s never been shot before. The production has contributed to the Friends of Paterson Parks, as well as numerous local businesses and Passaic County Community College, for use of space during the filming process.

Spielberg and the 20th Century Fox production team has been working since June in the Art Factory, the parking lot between Center City Mall and City Hall, and on Ellison Street behind City Hall to make the transformation happen and the filming possible.


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