Popeye Village, also known as Sweethaven Village, is an immensely popular tourist attraction in Mellieha, Malta. How did this construct of wooden and rustic buildings come to be and how did it acquire its both local and international fame as a tourist hotspot?
The village was purposely built as a film set which was later converted into a small attraction fun park. The live-action musical feature film ‘Popeye’, produced by Paramount Pictures and Walt Disney Productions, brought famous actors Robin Williams and Shelley Duvall to film the movie on the island.
With construction beginning in June 1979, a construction crew of over 165 workers built the village over seven months. Hundreds of logs and thousands of wooden planks were brought from the Netherlands, whilst wood shingles were brought from Canada. A 60-75 metre breakwater was built around Anchor Bay’s mouth to protect the set during the filming.
The set is open seven days a week to the public, offering not just the film set as an attraction but also several other experiences. With props and dresses from the original film, a boat trip around anchor bay takes visitors for a 15-minute ride whenever the weather permits.
A cinema also shows a 15-minute audio-visual show detailing history and information about the filming and construction. Puppet shows also entertain visitors, especially children. The set also neighbours a beautiful bay known to be enjoyed by tourists and the Maltese alike.
Photo Source: Popeye Village Malta FB