Saturday, June 4, 2011

Jayne Mansfield's Car filming update

For later updates, check newer posts, click on label at bottom!

The local newspaper has announced online today that the movie company is looking for local people to be extras, and looking for cars of the era.  Filming is due to begin around the third week in June.

I've been curious to see what changes they would make downtown -- clearly, it will need a little work to make it look like 1969 not 2011.  I've also wondered where they would be filming downtown.  Now I know -- some of it, anyway.  The two places named in the story are Moore's Soda Fountain and the West Theater -- both of which carry fond memories of my childhood in this town, and both of which are relatively unchanged over those intervening 60 or so years.

Moore's was for many years a pharmacy, drug store and served the local ladies needs for cosmetics.   It's currently for sale and pretty much unchanged.  Hollywood, however, has already begun changing the building to suit their needs.  This long side, where the red and beige now lie, is normally covered with murals for various local businesses.  Those coverings will be painted to look like brick, and are removable once shooting is complete.  If I had money, I'd love to buy this place and re-open.  Doesn't look as if the last person with that idea had much success.

Hard to photograph through dirty glass with the sun coming up behind you!  But, you can get a sense of the soda  fountain, which was perhaps my favorite place in the entire town, aside from my grandfather's barber shop just down the block. Fountain Cokes and the best chicken salad sandwich I ever ate.  Yum. You can bet that Hollywood will have this place up and running for the movie -- I don't expect there are lots of these left, especially in such pristine condition.  There weren't any tables back in the day -- that entire area was packed with tall cosmetic stands and a cosmetic counter.  The pharmacy was way in the back with just an access window.

I spent countless hours here!  A dime would give us entry into an all day double feature of Roy Rogers and Gene Autry, musicals and most other movies that came to town. Once inside, you could literally stay all day.  It was a Saturday ritual for the local kids, and the mom's didn't have to worry about babysitters because we were glued to the screen, even if we saw something twice.  Didn't matter. I remember once when my dad got home from Japan around 1952 he came down here and dragged me home, really pissed off, one Saturday afternoon when he had something else in mind for me.  This, too, is virtually unchanged since my childhood, although the paint job is new. I haven't been inside yet, but my understanding is that the inside has been as lovingly maintained and restored as the outside.

When you get right down to it, the entire downtown has been preserved virtually unchanged.  We did have a traffic light at this intersection, but no walk lights. Wonder what they'll do about those?

The town is starting to buzz, and I'm not someone who's really in the loop for those things.  A kid at the local hardware store this morning was talking about it -- he'd read the same online article I did this morning.  This location is only a couple of blocks from my house. I doubt that we citizens will get much opportunity to actually watch what's going on, but it should be fun anyway.

Gonna be another scorcher today.  I did a little gardening, plan to spend my day indoors where it's cool, reading.  I do have to bake brownies sometime today, but will put that off until late in the day when the kitchen is already hot from the day.

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