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Crews building sets for 'Hocus Pocus 2' in Rhode Island

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This is an image of the Cranston Street Armory in Providence, which will serve as one of the locations where Hocus Pocus 2 will be filmed. (WJAR)

LINCOLN, R.I. (WJAR) — Excitement is brewing as locals begin to see the first glimpse of "Hocus Pocus 2" in Rhode Island.

Unlike the first movie shot in Massachusetts and Hollywood, the sequel will be shot entirely in Rhode Island starting in October.

Before any stars like Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathy Najimy, and Bette Midler arrive, there's a lot of work to be done.

Crews are transforming Chase Farm Park in Lincoln into a 1600s-era movie set with eight structures, some two stories high.

Ten weeks of work in total will be done for two nights of filming, likely starting the first week of October, according to a representative from Fairy Dust Productions.

The production company will pay the town of Lincoln $25,000, in addition to police and fire details. There will be a controlled burn on the last day of filming, according to a town council meeting.

The original movie was shot more than 28 years ago.

Filmmakers are also making use of historic buildings like the Cranston Street Armory in Providence that will soon be a soundstage.

"The Cranston Street Armory is very spacious, it's got very high ceilings, it's open space... Because of its height ability, it gives an opportunity for a few of those witches to fly around," said Steven Feinberg, executive director of the Rhode Island Film & Television Office. "Disney has paid for intensive cleanup of the facility. They've added carpets, some mold removal. They're also paying for all the utilities, so the state doesn't have to pay the utilities. It's a very net gain for the state of Rhode Island."

The building is being rented for $10,000 per month, Feinberg said. He expects the economic impact of the making of this film to be $100 million.

So, why did Hollywood choose Rhode Island?

Feinberg had previously worked with director Anne Fletcher on "27 Dresses" and said she's familiar with the scenery and competitive tax credit program. In addition, shooting locations in Rhode Island are close in proximity but also diverse.

"It's huge, it's huge. It's very exciting and we're looking forward -- we talked with Disney about doing a big screening of the film when it's completed next Halloween, not this one. Next year, we plan to have a very big Rhode Island extravaganza premiere to share with the local folks," he said.

Hocus Pocus 2 will debut on Disney+ in 2022.

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