Signs posted on 18th Street, between G and H Streets in Arcata | Photos: Paul Fukunaga


Arcata drivers may want to avoid Northtown tomorrow, as many streets in the area will be closed to parking and/ or traffic while the section of A-town becomes a filming location for the production everyone in Humboldt is talking about, codenamed the “BC Project.” 

Locals have been abuzz about the major film – produced by Warner Bros., directed by renowned filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson (Boogie Nights, There Will Be Blood) and featuring several A-list actors, including Leonardo DiCaprio – for weeks now, as folks have caught glimpses of police cars, filming crews and even, allegedly, of Leo himself in various locations around Humboldt. 

Details of  the film’s plot have been tightly kept under wraps, though we do know that filming locations have included Eureka High School, Cutten Plaza, Trinidad and Murray Fields, and on Tuesday the cast and crew are set to film on and near the pedestrian bridge at 18th and G Streets in Arcata. A notice was sent out to residents and businesses in the area last week, letting them know of street closures, parking restrictions and traffic control happening during filming and preparation.

“The BC Project is preparing to film in your neighborhood on Tuesday, January 30th, 2024,” the notice, shared with the Outpost by several people, states. “There will be pedestrian limitations with posted ‘no parking’ signs on certain city blocks, street closures, intermittent traffic/ pedestrian control and sidewalk closures.” 

Section of the notice showing all closures, sent out by Warner Bros.

The notice states that filming will occur on Tuesday between 1 p.m, and 1 a.m. that the pedestrian bridge leading to 18th and G will be closed for the duration of the filming, and other sections of the neighborhood, including the 101 North onramp, will be closed intermittently or open to “local traffic only.” The notice also says that filming will include “simulated police activity and special effects.” 

In addition to the street closures, the crew has been prepping 18th Street for filming, with several of the businesses being made over with fake signs and façades. Similarly to how the production transformed Cutten Plaza into a Mexican mini-mall, 18th Street between G and H seems to have been transformed into a small Chinatown. 

Though the general feeling surrounding the filming seems to be excitement, some business owners in Northtown are a little concerned about how the closures will impact their business. 

Photos showing crew setting up on 18th, with fake window signs placed on business

Brian Koneko, owner of True Nature Tattoo, said that as a business that is appointment-driven, he plans to remain open, but he was a little concerned about how the parking and traffic closures might impact customers. 

Koneko reached out to the location manager, he said, and was told that it “shouldn’t impact people with appointments,” but he is messaging people with appointments to let them know to arrive early and plan for potential delays. Though True Nature is mostly reliant on appointments, the business does take walk-ins and sometimes makes a fair amount of money from foot traffic. 

Josh Hand, owner of Japhy’s Soup & Noodles, told the Outpost that after careful consideration, he’s decided to close the restaurant on Tuesday. As a popular lunch spot that’s very dependent on foot traffic, especially from Cal Poly Humboldt students, Hand was concerned that business would be extremely slow. 

“I don’t know if I’m doing the right thing,” Hand said in a phone interview Monday morning. “I just felt like it would have been a loss for me.” 

And though he might be losing business on Tuesday, Japhy’s was asked to cater for the crew’s wrap on Wednesday. Hand said he was surprised by the request, since Japhy’s does not usually cater, but he’s happy for the business. 

Other business owners don’t seem concerned at all. Scott Henderson, co-owner of ¡Hey Juan! Burritos said that since the restaurant is closed on Tuesday anyway, the filming won’t impact business. He said he plans to come down to the area just to see if he can catch a glimpse of the filming. 

For anyone else planning to be a looky-loo, know that there will be police officers securing the entrance points in the area, with both APD and CHP officers helping to direct traffic. Those who live and work in the area are promised local access, but there may be delays during filming periods. 

And if you’re not trying to gawk and just want to go about your normal day, you might want to avoid the area altogether if you can.