One week director Michael Bay is turning the plaza at McCormick Place into Hong Kong for Transformers 4 filming, the next he's turning North Broadway Street in the Uptown neighborhood into Texas.
The Uptown Theatre, where actors Mark Wahlberg and T.J. Miller filmed indoors Wednesday, was decorated with posters that read “SXSW Music Fest Jun 8, 2002.” (South By Southwest is the annual music festival that takes place in Austin, Texas.)
On one side of the Uptown Theatre was a fake liquor store called “Star of Texas Liquor & Wine.” On the other side was Crew Bar & Grill, which was open during filming but decorated with the Texas state flag and the University of Texas Longhorns flag.
The public was unable to go inside the Uptown Theatre during filming, but a security guard described the scene indoors as “dusty.”
"This location use will help the building with some things that need to be done and is contributing to ongoing maintenance and stabilization," read a message on the Uptown Theatre's Facebook page. "Maintenance, insurance, taxes and utilities at the building are significant annual expenses even in stasis. Every film shoot and special event at the building has helped in some way."
When he wasn’t filming, Wahlberg could be seen sitting on a cooler in front of the Uptown Theatre’s entrance. Wahlberg dined Sunday at Chicago Cut Steakhouse. On Tuesday, he had lunch at Centro and dinner with Bay and Mayor Rahm Emanuel at Piccolo Sogno. Bay hung out Sunday at The Underground and had dinner Monday at Tavern on Rush.
“Transformers” will continue filming in the Uptown neighborhood Thursday.