• Shoe store owner says 'Coming 2 America' production is hurting business

    By: Lori Wilson

    Updated:

    ATLANTA - The owner of a shoe store that’s been a downtown Atlanta fixture for 90 years says as the city's film industry grows his business suffers. 

    On Thursday, Channel 2’s Lori Wilson visited Friedman's Shoe Store on Mitchell Street, where the sequel to the 1988 classic film "Coming to America" is being filmed nearby. 

    When Wilson arrived, police were talking to store owner Brett Friedman.

    He had brought in huge speakers to disrupt the filming of the Paramount Pictures production starring Eddie Murphy.

    “They closed our street. If I don't have access to customers, I can't stay in business,” he said.

    Paramount production crews shut down the street in front of his store for a week and used up nearby parking with movie trucks, something he says cost him thousands.

    Normally, movie houses pay businesses a nuisance fee.


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    Friedman said he asked for $10,000 for the week before being told he would get $6,000. He said two days later, the movie set manager said he could only get $4,000.

    “I've got a power bill. I've got employees who've got families, and when the movie company and the city takes away the opportunity to do business, there should be some compensation for that,” Friedman said.

    Friedman is no stranger to Hollywood and celebrities. In fact, his biggest customer is Shaquille O'Neal.  

    But he says as the city grows -- and his street is shut down for movies and sporting events -- the progress is putting his store on a path to shutting down.

    “Go down by City Hall and see these beautiful new buildings. They came from the movie money and I’m all for that, but at the same time, the merchant shouldn't be cut out of the equation,” he said.

    The studio did agree to give Friedman the $6,000 it had initially worked out. Wilson reached out to the city for comment Thursday but did not hear back by the time of publication. 

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