Wish You Were Here: Sweethaven (Popeye) Village, Malta

by Owen James Burke


(Photo: No Ordinary Home)

Yes, it’s definitely a little hokey, but you can’t deny its certain dock appeal, so to speak.

Sweethaven, also known as Popeye Village, in the Mediterranean island nation of Malta was built for Robert Altman’s 1980 live-action big screen musical Popeye, starring the late, great Robin Williams.

Construction for the set began in 1979 in Anchor Bay on the north shore of Malta and took a crew of 165 over seven months to complete. The 19 ramshackle houses were built from thousands of wood planks and hundreds of logs shipped from the Netherlands, and the roof shingles were all shipped in from Canada. Most impressive though, is the 200-250 foot breakwater built at the mouth of the bay to just to protect the set while shooting.


(Photo: No Ordinary Home)

Here’s a Super 8 Kodachrome film of Sweethaven Village from 1986, before it was an amusement park:

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Maybe someday the amusement park will fold and fishermen can take it over.


(Image via Adam Burton/Pinterest)

Rest in Peace, Robin.

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