By Thomas Garcia
QCS Senior Writer
Scenes of the upcoming movie “Comancheria,” starring Jeff Bridges, Chris Pine and Ben Foster were filmed Monday in Tucumcari, bringing revenue and national attention into the city — but the filming of them also created some mixed reactions from area officials, offices and businesses.
“This was an excellent opportunity for Tucumcari, said City Manager Jared Langenegger. “Anytime we can have some national attention is a good thing.”
Langenegger said the area economy benefited from the arrival of the film crew, stars and staff on Saturday as they spent money at local motels, restaurants and stores. He said there could be added benefit if the movie does well at box offices. The scenes filmed in Tucumcari could be site attractions for tourist and future films may consider using Tucumcari, the city manager added.
Several streets in the downtown are were closed to traffic while the film crew operated from 7 a.m. to noon. The street closure caused some offices and business to close completely while others remained open with impaired access by clients and customers.
One of the offices affected by the street closures was the Quay County DWI Compliance Office at 113 East Main Street. As police officers manned a roadblock at East Center Street and South First Street, several clients trying to make their required Monday check-in where turned away.
Some of the clients were able to get through and some called to make arraignments to come in later, said Bryan Rinestine, DWI coordinator.
Rinestine said he is happy the film crews chose Tucumcari, but he added there could have been a little bit more planning to perhaps permit the filming to be finished during the weekend. He said Mondays are a busy day for the DWI Compliance office, considering every client must make a required check in that day each week.
Rix Security, at 105 South First Street, had to close the morning of the filming because of its location and the film crews requested that no vehicles be parked along the street, “It was a big inconvenience having to close Monday the morning,” said business owner Susan Taylor.
Taylor said several appointments that had been made for Monday had to be rescheduled and while they could make out-of-office service calls, Rix was limited on what services it could provide. She said her staff could not access the building because of tools or equipment.
Direct access by customers of Citizens Bank, at 211 East Main, was disrupted while the filming took place.
Although Liz Estrada, executive vice president at Citizens Bank, said there was actually little impact on the bank’s business. She said she and the staff at the bank were excited about the filming and believe it was a positive development for Tucumcari.