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'Killers of the Flower Moon' transforming Pawhuska, adds to growth of city

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Posted at 7:01 PM, Apr 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-30 23:26:42-04

PAWHUSKA, Okla. — Hollywood has come to Osage County.

You can get your picture with cardboard cutouts of Robert de Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio at The Constantine Theater in Pawhuska. While it's not the real actors, they are in the area working on the "Killers of the Flower Moon."

READ MORE: 'Killers of the Flower Moon' joins list of films shot in Oklahoma

“I’ve seen Martin Scorcese several times and every time he walks by he always smiles, says 'Hi', very nice," said Denise Webster, owner of Sunset Ridge Gallery.

Movie production is hard at work turning Pawhuksa back in time to the early 1920s, including a train station and tracks and building façade Kihekah Ave.

This Saturday is the last day some businesses on Kihekah Ave. will be open for two-and-a-half months. Movie production is shutting down the 600 and 700 blocks of the street to get it ready to film. They’ll fill the road with dirt and redo the storefronts, including Webster's. She said she is being compensated for closing.

“They will set up both sides with different businesses that they will determine," Webster said. "And so, during the filming, they will have customers walking in and out as if it’s a viable business.”

The movie production is just another piece of the revitalization of Pawhuska.

"Literally, in the last few years, we’ve watched this town come to alive before your eyes," said Joni Nash, executive director of the Pawhuska Chamber of Commerce.

That growth is largely because of The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond, and her restaurant and shop, The Mercantile, which opened in 2016. People now come from all over the world to visit.

“Saturdays, it was extremely quiet around here," Nash said. "You’d be hard-pressed to find three to four cars in our downtown. Saturday’s now are hustling and bustling. You can’t find a parking spot, which is a great thing. Businesses are open. Stores are open. There’s a new shine on the town.”

Webster opened her store three years ago after seeing the growth in the small town. Now with the movie, she’s looking forward to what lies ahead.

“Ree Drummond is a great economic boom for Pawhuska, but now throw in the movie, what a great blessing," she said.

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