Here is our full report from the filming of Indiana Jones 4 in New Haven!
Here was the notice on the New Haven website that let us know we were sure to see something:
“DOWNTOWN ROAD CLOSURES – Due to an event taking place on and around the Yale Campus there will be temporary detours and street closures from 6am – 8pm on June 28th to July 6th. The closures and detours will impact streets in and around the areas bordered by Grove, Temple, York and Crown Streets. More specific information will be posted here daily. Street closures for Thursday June 28th click here and for Friday June 29th click here.
“Note to CT Transit riders. Several downtown bus lines are impacted by the road closure and intermittent detour plans. Additional shuttles and trolley may help you get closer to your destination. Look for the Trolley stop logo on Orange Street, State Street and Chapel Street.”
Saturday’s chase scene was filmed on the square on the old Yale campus. This was certainly movie making history drawing paps and locals alike to this usually quiet college town all trying to get a glimpse of the legendary Harrison Ford and Steven Spielberg. When we first arrived we couldn’t believe all the commotion. The streets were lined with trucks and rigs and the police were working over time to keep the crowds at bay. The storefronts had all been changed to fit the era of the film (the 1950’s) and there were onlookers everywhere. When we first arrived we saw a large crowd looking down a roadway into the main courtyard of the campus and we joined in, lucky we did, not five minutes later Steven Spielberg pulled up followed by Harrison Ford!
The chase scene we saw was filmed about ten times. Harrison Ford left once the scene was finished but filming continued inside the courtyard. If you make it to New Haven in the next week it is worth the trip, only an hour from NYC and about 2 hours from Boston. We drove 4 hours and it was worth it. If you can’t make it in the next week before filming ends, don’t rule out New Haven as a weekend getaway. When the movie crew leaves there is still plenty to do.
It is also clear how film productions bring so much revenue into an area. The Starbucks which is probably pretty quiet on a Saturday afternoon in the summer was rockin’ with celebrity stalkers and bored PAs. We could also see why Connecticut is so popular with film crews, as we witnessed New Haven cater to this production. Not only were the window dressings changed and extra police were on patrol, but as the notice above explains, many downtown streets were closed, all to accommodate Indiana Jones. One city official told us “CT was now offering best tax breaks” which supports some of the news we have been seeing about the filming boom taking place in the state right now.
At the end of the day we headed over to the Thimble Islands, only about a twenty minute drive, it is like entering a whole other world. There is not much to offer near the islands but there is a boat tour that seems interesting and just sitting by the docks watching boats go to and from the islands is a nice way to kill the afternoon. Stony Creek Pizza is the only restaurant at the harbor but it is good and cheap. There are a couple small hotels near the islands but if you are only going for the boat tour or to sit by the water it is close enough to stay in New Haven and just drive over for the afternoon. There is a small beach by the docks but honestly, we have seen better. If you have a boat this is a perfect launching point.
For more information about the Indiana Jones shoot, here is a link. Here is a video from the first day fo shooting. If you are visiting New Haven be sure to take a look at the Yale campus and don’t miss the Peabody Museum of Natural History. For information about lodging and other activities in New Haven take a look here.