Captain America, Indians take over Cleveland this week

Yes, a spring storm dumped several inches of snow all over Northeast Ohio on Saturday after a cold rain woke us up "Saturgray."

But that is in the past and we've got a great week with a warm-up coming up that will erase that memory.

While the Marvel movie "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" opens here and nationwide on Friday, there's a special invitation-only premiere at the Cinemark at Valley View on Tuesday. (Yes, the actual world premiere was in early March in L.A. but I'm not counting that.)

You can also likely catch a showing late Thursday night at some theaters.

Greater Clevelanders have a lot "invested" in this movie, not the least of which are Joe and Anthony Russo, brothers who grew up in Cleveland and are alums of Benedictine High School. It's their movie and they brought a lot of the filming to Greater Cleveland last year.

They filmed on the West Shoreway (it was completely shut down), West Third Street, Superior Avenue, East Sixth Street, the Cleveland Museum of Art, Tremont, the old bank vault at the Huntington Bank, Cleveland Heights and the Western Reserve Historical Society.

They brought lots of stars, like Captain America himself (actor Chris Evans); Robert Redford (S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Alexander Pierce; the Black Widow Scarlett Johansson; Samuel L. Jackson as (Nick Fury); Sebastian Stan (The Winter Soldier); Anthony Mackie (The Falcon) and Frank Grillo (Crossbones)

We handled the traffic detours and the inconveniences because Northeast Ohio and all of Ohio has become a filming mecca, thanks to the Ohio Tax Credit and the Greater Cleveland Film Commission.

Whenever and wherever you see the movie, you will recognize lots of locales, if you know Greater Cleveland.

But before or after most of you see the movie next weekend, the Cleveland Indians take the field in the home opener at 3:05 p.m. Friday at Progressive Field. The Cleveland Indians are looking like a contender. Hopes are high and the weather should cooperate.

Shameless plug: If you can't get to Progressive Field, you can watch it on WKYC-TV Channel 3.

It's no April Fool's Day joke that Greater Clevelanders will see warmer temperatures this week and have a lot to be proud of.

And it doesn't stop there.

The Akron RubberDucks' home opener is April 10 so don't forget that either.

On April 11, the movie "Draft Day" opens here and nationwide. It's a sports-comedy-drama directed by Ivan Reitman and stars Kevin Costner, Denis Leary, Frank Langella and Jennifer Garner. Costner plays the general manager of the Cleveland Browns who struggles to acquire the first draft pick for the team.

And guess what? Lots of it was filmed here in Greater Cleveland. Sure, the original film was to be about the Buffalo Bills but the tax credit in New York and Buffalo couldn't match what Ohio offered so the team was changed to the Browns. Yay!!

Costner truly enjoyed himself while in Cleveland, taking in lots of local venues. And filming also took place in Greater Cleveland, most notably two homes in Shaker Heights.

I've always liked the month of April because so many "firsts" happened in that month, albeit decades ago.

So April is getting off to a great start here. I know some people are blaming me for the spring storm because I took my snow brush out of the back seat of my car early last week and put it in the trunk. They railed because they said I jinxed them but it's not like I put it in the garage so I don't accept the blame.

So expect sunnier skies for April and I promise not to take the snow brush out of my trunk until at least May 2. As Positively Cleveland proclaimed as our newest slogan -- This is CLE -- This is Cleveland.

Follow me on Twitter @KimWendel


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