Sweethaven Village, also called Popeye Village was the original film set in Malta of the 1980 musical production “Popeye” starring the famous Robin Williams. The movie was one of the first big screen roles for Robin Williams, who took on the titular character, with Olive Oyl played by Shelley Duvall, taking on her first role after the horrors of working with Stanley Kubrick on The Shining (1980). The construction of the film set began in June 1979. A construction crew of 165 working four months was needed to build the village, which consists of nineteen wooden buildings.
Popeye Village was the original film set in Malta of the 1980 musical production “Popeye”
Over 20 wooden structures were built with tree trunk logs imported from Holland and wooden shingles brought in from Canada, making the town quite the production. Eight tons of nails and 250 gallons of paint were used in constructing the set, and a 250-foot breakwater was built to protect the filming area from the high seas. The film itself was a box-office bomb. But rather than tearing the set down or leaving it abandoned, the islanders saw it for what it was: a pre-built theme park. They eventually took over the abandoned set, hired actors, and the Popeye Village was born.