Movie premiere excitement in Schenectady wasn’t limited to the short stretch of red carpet laid down in Bow Tie Cinemas on Thursday night
Just a few doors down, Aperitivo Bistro was debuting its own “The Place Beyond the Pines” excitement with a specialty drink, according to co-owner Peter Blackman. People were drinking “Beyond the Pines,” a cocktail that features gin.
“We thought we would make a big deal of it,” Blackman said of rolling out the summer cocktail to coincide with the movie premiere.
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The restaurant’s connection with the movie goes beyond the drink, though, as he noted that stars from the film, like Ryan Gosling, Eva Mendes and Bradley Cooper, ate there during filming. They and the crew apparently liked it, too, Blackman said.
“We would see them a couple times a week,” he said.
Aperitivo was open late to handle the hundreds of people who rolled out of the theater after the movie.
For an exclusive group of 200 people, the after-movie event was a special party across the street at Johnny’s. Restaurant co-owner Bob Mallozzi wasn’t saying much about the private party, which was scheduled to begin right after the movie ended and run until 1 a.m. This was a high-profile exposure for the new restaurant, which has been operating for less than a month.
“We’re extremely honored that [Focus Features and Bow Tie Cinema] chose Johnny’s, and we’re extremely honored to be part of this Schenectady experience,” Mallozzi said.
Aperitivo’s Blackman said the premiere was a big night for Schenectady since it would likely attract people from all over the Capital Region and expose the city’s downtown to a whole new crowd. He added that Schenectady businesses were putting their best foot forward for the special night.
“It’s not usual for the Capital Region to have a movie premiere,” he said.
Immediately after the movie premiere started, there was a crowd coming into Bombers on State Street. There was a lot of talk about returning to the theater later that night for the rumored appearance of Bradley Cooper, who was suspected to be driving to the city from Boston.
The night was also special because it featured two performance of Cathy Rigby’s “Peter Pan” at Proctors. The matinee and late showing at Proctors, plus the Pines premiere, said Blackman, meant a steady flow of customers with all different plans on Thursday night.