Birmingham City Centre has been transformed into the set of a new Hollywood sci-fi film, courtesy of movie mogul Steven Spielberg.
As filming begins in earnest for his new blockbuster, Ready Player One, in Brum, he’s re-inventing the city.
The overnight transformation of the historic Jewellery Quarter into a North American city is remarkable.
One of the first buildings given a new identity is Telephone House, opened on Newhall Street in 1936, sixty years after Alexander Graham Bell was issued with a patent for his telephone design. Now, it’s Columbus North High School and boasts a US flag and graffiti galore.
Nearby, the 1930s Art Deco St John Ambulance building has been renamed the United States Postal Service’s Franklinton Retail Station, again flying the stars and stripes.
Traffic signs point to Glenwood Avenue, Sullivant Avenue, Rich Street, Ludlow Street and Town Street. And there are American-style crosswalk lights, warning signs and a bus stop, all as heavily weathered as the set’s cars bearing rusty Ohio number plates.
Many other parts of real-life Lionel Street, Water Street and Livery Street have also had walls and street corners decorated with temporary graffiti.
Shooting on the sci-fi thriller will run until this Saturday.