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Pandemic forces postponement of Ghostbusters premiere

The Ecto-1 raced up and down Main Street Fort Macleod last summer during the filming of scenes from the movie ‘Ghostbusters: Afterlife.’

A Hollywood movie premiere didn’t have a ghost of a chance against a world-wide pandemic.

The Fort Macleod premiere of Ghostbusters: Afterlife set for July has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’ve kind of put all our plans on hold,” Town of Fort Macleod chief administrative officer Sue Keenan said.

The spread of COVID-19 forced the province last month to restrict gatherings to 15 people or less.

People have been advised to stay at least six metres apart to slow the spread of the potentially deadly virus.

The impact of the pandemic spread to the movie industry, forcing Sony Canada to move the Ghostbusters: Afterlife premiere to March 2021, from July 10.

Fort Macleod, where scenes from Ghostbusters: Afterlife were filmed last summer, was planning a gala premiere that would be a fund-raiser for the Empress Theatre and the outdoor pool project.

Tentative plans were to block off Main Street for a community celebration prior to the premiere.

With the premiere now set for March 2021, the venue will be moved to the Fort Macleod and District Community Hall, from Main Street.

“It would have been nice to have a street festival,” Keenan said, explaining the potential for cold and snow prompted the venue change.

Keenan said Friday plans are to screen the original Ghostbusters movie as well as the sequel prior to showing Ghostbusters: Afterlife at the Empress Theatre next March.

The Fort Macleod committee is extending invitations to cast and crew from Ghostbusters: Afterlife.

The committee has also been in discussions with representatives from several Ghostbusters fan clubs, who have expressed interest in taking part in the premiere.

M&A Catering from Fort Macleod has been contracted to cater the premiere.

“We’ll also be creating a special cocktail around the Ghostbusters theme,” Keenan said.

The committee is looking at renting large spotlights to give the premiere a “Hurray for Hollywood” style.

“We’re hoping it will be a pretty fancy dancy event,” Keenan said. “I think people will be ready for some kind of celebration.”

Fort Macleod stood in for a small Oklahoma town for scenes from Ghostbusters: Afterlife.

Main Street and Second avenue were closed off at points last summer while the Ghostbusters Ecto-1 vehicle raced up and down.

Ghostbusters:Afterlife is the latest chapter in the series and features original cast members Bill Murray, Dan Ackroyd, Sigourney Weaver, Annie Potts and Ernie Hudson.

Joining the cast are newcomers Paul Rudd, Finn Wolfhard, Mckenna Grace and Carrie Coon.

Keenan said Fort Macleod received considerable positive exposure from Ghostbusters: Afterlife.

“I was thrilled,” Keenan said. “I’ve been telling council all along that we can’t get better promotion for the Town of Fort Macleod than from filming, if we do it right.”

“It’s been a real team effort to get to that point.”