‘Left Behind’ filming headed to Mall of Louisiana

Advocate staff file photo by Richard Alan Hannon -- A May 2011 aerial view of the Mall of Louisiana and its parking lots.
Advocate staff file photo by Richard Alan Hannon -- A May 2011 aerial view of the Mall of Louisiana and its parking lots.

Film crews making the “Left Behind” post-Rapture movie starring Nicholas Cage will invade the area around the Mall of Louisiana early next week.

Baton Rouge police plan to close several nearby roads in preparation for filming scenes such as one including a 60-foot-tall fireball, smoke and loud explosions, as well as a staged bus accident.

Filming will take place from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday. During those times, law enforcement will provide intermittent traffic control at two of the malls’ entrances — the one closest to Interstate 10 and the one on Mall of Louisiana Boulevard, according to a city-parish news release.

The streets will remain open throughout the day, and police will only halt traffic while cameras roll, the release says. Film crews plan to shoot the scene involving the massive fireball on Wednesday, the release says.

Parish officials with the East Baton Rouge Emergency Medical Services, East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office and the St. George Fire Department will be on scene to monitor the pyrotechnics.

Police also plan to shut down the eastbound and westbound Picardy Avenue entrances from 7 a.m. to noon on Thursday. During that time, all Bluebonnet Boulevard entrances will remain open, the release says.

Filming began Aug. 5 for the movie based on the best-selling Christian novels about life after the Rapture.