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Popeye Village

                                                            by Emad Youssef


Popeye Village, also known as Sweethaven Village, is a purpose built film set village that has been converted into a small attraction fun park, consisting of a collection of rustic and ramshackle wooden buildings. It is located at Anchor Bay, the village core of Mellieha, Malta.


The construction of the film set began in June 1979. A construction crew of 165 working over seven months was needed to build the village, which consists of nineteen wooden buildings. Hundreds of logs and several thousand wooden planks were imported from the Netherlands, while wood shingles used in the construction of the roof tops were imported from Canada. Eight tons of nails and 2.5 cubic metres of paint were also used in construction.


In addition, a 60–75 m breakwater was built around Anchor Bay's mouth to protect the set from high seas during the filming. The set was completed in seven months, and filming commenced on January 23rd 1980 and wrapped later that year on June 19th. The film, based on the comic strips by E.C. Segar, is set around the fictional village of Sweethaven, wherePopeye the sailor arrives in an attempt to find his long lost father.


Popeye Village is open to the public seven days a week and, apart from the film set itself, has a number of family attractions for the visitor to experience. There are shows, rides and museums, as well as play houses where children can climb and explore the village. Children can meet the main characters from the show such as Popeye, Olive Oyl, Bluto and Wimpy.


Some of the houses in Popeye Village have been equipped with various items related to the filming, including props used in the film's production.


Situated in the centre of Popeye Village's Lower Complex, visitors can see a 15-minute history and information audio-visual show which includes clips from the actual film and the set's construction. The cinema can accommodate approximately 40 people and has a show every hour.





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