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Brick City becomes Gotham City for ‘Joker’ movie

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NEWARK -

Filming is underway in Newark for the new movie “Joker,” which focuses on the early days of superhero Batman’s arch-nemesis.

Filming for the new superhero blockbuster began Saturday, but preparations have been underway for month. Many of Newark’s leaders and residents say that they are glad that the movie is being filmed in the Brick City. But some say that the whole ordeal has been a bit of a hassle.

VIDEO: Filming underway in Newark for 'Joker' movie

“Would I do it again? No. Because it just took too long,” says business owner Daniel Baum.

Baum owns American Mattress and Furniture Warehouse on Market Street. His shop was closed for three days while filming was underway – his store turned into a music shop in the film. The studio paid him, but Baum said he's had three to four weeks of slower business as the facade of the shop was altered to match the seedy world of Gotham City.

RELATED: Newark transforms into Gotham for 'Batman' film shoot
RELATED: Newark announces street closures for ‘Joker’ filming

“The actual shooting was short, but putting up the signs, doing all that stuff. It just took too long,” he says. “It's a music store. It's not a furniture store. See that wall? There's a furniture store behind the wall. So this whole front of the store is gone.”

But a few blocks away, the manager of the Robert Treat Hotel says that business is booming. The hotel was sold out this weekend with about 25 percent of the rooms being paid for by Warner Brothers for people working on the movie. Manager Shah Deen says that this has been good for Newark's image.

MORE: Tax credit means more movies could come film in NJ

“Especially that they filmed it downtown, in the heart of Newark,” Deen says. “Broad and Market [streets] are certainly well-known in Newark. As we all know, Newark is on the rise…but this movie certainly did lend to that type of positive impact.”

The filming is set to continue through Wednesday. The sequence filmed in Newark is supposedly for the beginning of the film.

“Joker” is one of the first productions to benefit from the newly restored film tax credit. There is a 30 percent tax credit for every day of production in New Jersey.

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