It was Christmas in July for crews working on Iron Man 3, as set designers transformed part of Kenansville into holiday scenes ready for the movie.
Teams will film in the Duplin Couty town for two days, from Tuesday 6:00 p.m. until Wednesday 5:00 a.m. The production crew will work the same hours Wednesday evening into Thursday.
Technicians and producers on the set were tight lipped, refusing to reveal if Robert Downey Jr. would be involved in any of the scenes. The sets are being set up at the Kenan Memorial Auditorium on Highway 11. In the film, temporary signs on the outside of the building call it by its fictional name, "Hamilton County Memorial Hall."
"It's been exciting all day," said Duplin County resident Ethylen Carlton Powell. "We've just been seeing them get the equipment out. And we saw some red roses, we were real excited about that."
Besides roses, crews unloaded Christmas trees and strung holiday garland around light poles. Filming began inside the auditorium at 1:15 p.m. Tuesday, but much of the work came to a halt with torrential rain in the evening.
Drivers on Highway 11 can expect the roadway closed from just north of the Duplin County Courthouse to Stokes-Gooding Road during Tuesday and Wednesday's working hours.
Large white tents with food for the film crews are set up in the baseball field next to the set. Fans also got a glimpse of two identical black Audi A8s behind speakers carted into the building, as well as large contractor lights and cherry pickers.
Kenansville will appear on the big screen 10 months from now - Iron Man 3 will open in theaters May 2013.