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Downtown filming

Concerned that downtown is turning into an urban back lot for movie, TV and commercial producers, the area’s growing number of residents and merchants are rebelling.

A surge in filming, combined with incidents such as the March chopper episode, is galvanizing residents to push for tighter rules that could crimp shoots in one of the world’s busiest places for filming. (Robert Gauthier / LAT)
Production for the motion picture “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” continues in an alley near Spring Street in downtown Los Angeles. (Robert Gauthier / LAT)
A “notice of filming” flyer is pasted to the front door of the downtown Los Angeles loft where Benjamin and Erica Pezillo live. They are becoming increasingly annoyed with the abundance of film productions that close streets and create late-night noises. (Robert Gauthier / LAT)
Production assistant Mark Boucher converts Spring Street in downtown Los Angeles to 6th Avenue in New York for a film shoot. (Robert Gauthier / LAT)
Benjamin and Erica Pezillo out with their dogs on Spring Street in downtown Los Angeles. The street was closed for three blocks to accomodate the filming of a movie, an occurance the Pezillo’s, who live in a nearby loft, find increasingly annoying. (Robert Gauthier / LAT)
Downtown Los Angeles has been one of Hollywood’s favorite film spots dating back to 1909’s “In the Sultan’s Power.” Its skyline is relatively free of landmarks, so it can easily stand in for other cities. (Robert Gauthier / LAT)