State Route 89 to close because of "Angels." |

State Route 89 to close because of "Angels."

Greg Risling

Two of the movie industry’s beloved heartthrobs, actors Nicolas Cage and Meg Ryan, will grace the Lake Tahoe area next Thursday when they shoot several scenes for the feature film, “City of Angels.”

Warner Bros. and director Bruce Silberling selected Tahoe’s scenic bluffs and city streets for their movie. The production crew will spend morning, noon and night around the lake, capturing key moments for the film. State Highway 89 between Eagle Point and Vikingsholm near Emerald Bay will be closed from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. Extra safety precautions will be handled by the film crew for aerial shots from a helicopter. Without an alternate route, Caltrans expects traffic to be halted throughout the day.

The cameras will be moved to Park Avenue and Highway 50 after hours. South Lake Tahoe Police Chief David Solaro said his department will be re-routing traffic from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. Portions of the Crescent V Shopping Center will be cordoned off for equipment and vehicles. Other locations around the basin may be used as well.

An annual overlay construction project on Pioneer Trail also will begin next week, giving motorists limited options.

If bad weather occurs Thursday, June 3-4 or 6 are target dates.

Some business owners side with the cinema moguls that bring big bucks and national recognition to Lake Tahoe.

“How the filming relates to affecting business, I don’t see it in any great degree,” said Ed McCarthy, owner of the Stardust Lodge.

Tahoe Togs proprietor Robbie Earhart said most of the business near Stateline is foot traffic and she supports the Hollywood legion.

“They bring the crew in and they spend money through lodging and food,” she said. “Anything to do pushing Tahoe nationwide or worldwide is a plus.”

Filming began last month in Los Angeles and will wrap up in Tahoe. The renowned skyline and unique topography of San Francisco, where Cage lives, was logged by the crew this week. The city’s new library, considered an architectural wonder, was used.

The love story is an adaptation of a 1987 foreign film called “Wings of Desire.” The German-produced “Desire” is about an angel roaming through the streets of West Berlin wishing he was mortal so he could fall in love.

Cage plays the tormented angel who has fallen for a cardiac surgeon, Dr. Maggie Rice, played by Ryan. His character, Seth, must decide between eternal life or his amorous desires.

Cage has kept busy since winning an Academy Award for his portrayal of a compulsive drunk in “Leaving Las Vegas.” He can be seen in two action thrillers this summer, “Con Air” and another high-octane feature “Face/Off” with John Travolta, both opening next Friday.

Ryan is perhaps best remembered for simulating a fake orgasm in “When Harry Met Sally” and currently co-stars with Matthew Broderick in the revengeful romance comedy, “Addicted to Love.” Two-time Emmy Award winner Dennis Franz (“NYPD Blue”) and Andre Braugher (“Glory,” “Primal Fear”) round out the supporting cast.

Warner Bros. plans to release the film sometime this fall.

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