Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Hollywood came to upper Connecticut Avenue yesterday, and while the rain dashed an appearance by Nicole Kidman, it did not ease parking restrictions in place for the filming.

Paper “No Parking” signs forbade parking in metered spaces from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the 3400 and 3500 blocks of Connecticut Avenue in Northwest to allow shooting of a scene in “The Visiting.”

Miss Kidman plays a Washington psychiatrist who discovers an alien epidemic that alters the behavior of humans. And her son may hold the key to stopping an imminent invasion.

The paper signs were soaked and some were dangling from the meters in the early afternoon, but production coordinators Martin Valinsky and Scott Richards, both of Los Angeles, were confident the rain would surely cease so the scene could be filmed.

“We’re on standby,” Mr. Richards said. “We don’t expect the rain to last.”

It did, however, and the filming never happened. A date for the “No Parking” signs to reappear and Miss Kidman to appear was not announced.

Normal traffic was to be blocked off on Connecticut near the Uptown Theatre while rented cars, trucks and other vehicles were driven as directed by Mr. Valinsky and Mr. Richards to appear as normal traffic but clearly to avoid hitting Miss Kidman.

The restricted parking caused problems all day for commuters, hungry workers and residents.

“Somebody called and said they were coming to pick up some goods, but they couldn’t find a place to park,” said Susan Lihn, owner of Wake Up Little Suzie costume shop where display windows were filled with Halloween regalia.

“They were from Virginia,” said Mrs. Lihn, adding that other arrangements were made to pick up costumes, and she blamed the rain more than movie filming for the parking problem.

“I had trouble finding parking,” said Christina, who declined to give her last name.

It took time, but eventually the Northwest resident, her parents, brother, sister-in-law and two nephews, ages 2 and 5, got to eat at their favorite Greek restaurant, Yannis, near the post office.

Ben Feldman’s car was idling, its lights on, in a parallel shopping lane across the street. He lives a few blocks away at Kalorama and Connecticut and is familiar with limited parking.

“Parking is always a problem here,” he said.

Meanwhile, Miss Kidman did appear in the Cleveland Park Metro station. Subway riders had no warning but said shooting movie scenes there did not delay their travels.

“She just looked like a normal person,” said Kendra Glass, 19, of Southeast. “I didn’t recognize her.” But her friend, Michelle Peters, 19, of Southeast, did.

“They said I might be in the movie,” said Judith Bleith Kahn, 72, of Montgomery County. “They took pictures of me going up the escalator. They gave me two free [Metro] passes.”

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