Gotham greets ‘Godzilla’

Guiliani declares May 18 'Godzilla Day'

New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani put out a giant welcome mat for “Godzilla” on Monday.

At a press conference at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, Hizzoner officially declared May 18 “Godzilla Day” in Gotham.

Joining Giuliani at the press conference were the Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting commissioner Patricia Reed Scott, director Roland Emmerich, producer Dean Devlin and stars Matthew Broderick, Jean Reno and Maria Pitillo.

Filmed on location in New York a year ago, “Godzilla” features such Gotham landmarks as the Brooklyn Bridge, the Chrylser Building, the Flat Iron Building, Central Park, Wall Street and Madison Square Garden, where the pic’s premiere was held Monday night in front of a monster-sized audience of 13,000.

“We are delighted that thanks to productions like ‘Godzilla’ we will continue reaping the benefits of a surging film industry, which contributes billions of dollars to our economy and employs thousands of New Yorkers,” said Giuliani.

The mayor noted that Godzilla’s first stop in Gotham is the Fulton Fish Market. “Five years ago that would not have been possible. He would have been stopped by the Mafia,” said Giuliani, referring to his administration’s efforts to eliminate organized crime from the market.

“We’re very excited to be back in New York for ‘Godzilla Day’ and tonight’s premiere at Madison Square Garden,” said Emmerich. “We thank the citizens of this great city for helping us make the movie.”

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