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What you need to know for 08/21/2017

Lights! Camera! Popcorn! ‘Pines’ premiere tonight

Lights! Camera! Popcorn! ‘Pines’ premiere tonight

Advance sales for “The Place Beyond the Pines” were enough to convince Bow Tie Cinemas to schedule a

Advance sales for “The Place Beyond the Pines” were enough to convince Bow Tie Cinemas to schedule a few extra showings this week.

With the fanfare surrounding the exclusive local premiere at downtown’s Super Six this evening, the company decided it was best to have a showing open to the public afterward. The theater will have a late showing at 10:10 p.m. and an additional run at 7:30 p.m. Friday to accommodate moviegoers hoping to catch a first run of the film shot on location around the Schenectady area.

“We’ve already sold out one auditorium [for Friday],” said Joe Masher, Bow Tie’s chief operating officer. “But we’re adding theaters as necessary so we’re not sold out.”

Other area theaters have experienced a similar interest in the film during the weeks leading up to its local debut. The Spectrum 8 in downtown Albany has also had robust sales for its evening showing Friday, though seats remain available.

“The sales have been pretty good for the evening shows,” said Andrea Richard, the theater general manager.

Richard said she’s fielded calls about “Pines” for weeks now. Ever since the film had a limited release in several major cities, the calls have grown.

“There’s interest for sure,” she said.

Zurich Cinemas at Rotterdam Square mall will also feature the film, which stars Ryan Gosling, Eva Mendes and Bradley Cooper. Assistant Manager Rudy Breyo said the theater normally doesn’t feature independent label films, but made a specific exception for “Pines” because of its local appeal.

“I expect lines to be outside the door,” he said of the Friday evening showing. And it’s no surprise either, since Derek Cianfrance’s triptych crime drama was filmed in dozens of locations throughout the Schenectady area during summer 2011.

The director best known for “Blue Valentine” also incorporated thousands of local people into his films, some with credited roles.

Numerous tellers from the 1st National Bank of Scotia are given lines, as are several officers with the Schenectady Police Department. The film features speaking parts for Schenectady High School guidance counselor Sarah Curcio, local resident Heather Chestnut, Aumiller’s pharmacist Frank Falvo and even longtime state Sen. Hugh Farley.

The production had a good amount of local influence. Writer Ben Coccio, a Niskayuna High School graduate, pulled from his experiences growing up in Schenectady County while writing the script, while Cianfrance’s wife, Shannon Plumb, grew up in the city and still has family in the area. Jamie Patricof, one of the producers, spent summers and holidays working at Duane’s Toyland, a popular Niskayuna business once operated by his grandparents.

Over the course of the 47 days of filming, the production crew and the local community bonded. The stars lived in the city and studied their roles locally.

Mendes, who plays a working mother named Romina, waited on tables at the Route 7 Diner in Colonie. Cooper, who plays a rookie cop named Avery Cross, answered calls with Schenectady police on several occasions and attended a swearing in ceremony for rookie officers at City Hall.

“Everybody was wonderfully helpful,” said Lynette Howell, one of the film’s producers, before the premiere in New York City late last month. “We just had a great time up there. Everybody we crossed paths with was excited for us to be there and accommodating.”

About 500 people were invited to today’s premiere, including many who had roles in the film or who helped the production in some way. Cianfrance, Coccio, the movie’s producers, and several of its stars are expected to attend.

“As a team, we’ve been trying to arrange this premiere since September when we were selling it to Focus,” he told The Gazette in February. “Schenectady made this film and we will be there when it opens.”

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