If you’re anything like Gordon Hobday, you always meant to see “The Place Beyond the Pines,” but for one reason or another just didn’t get around to it.
The Glenville man was born and raised in Schenectady, so he had a natural inclination to want to see the hit movie filmed almost exclusively in his hometown. He just wasn’t what you would call a super fan. He wasn’t the type to go out of his way to catch glimpses of the star-studded cast during their 2011 filming here, and he wasn’t the type to attend the red carpet premiere of the film at Bow Tie Cinemas, where actor Bradley Cooper made a late appearance earlier this year.
“Don’t get me wrong,” said Hobday, “I wasn’t out there on the set trying to get a glimpse, but I do want to see Ryan Gosling, Eva Mendes and Bradley Cooper. And, of course, it will be interesting to see the Dairy Circus and the Gower Road tunnel and all these different things in the movie that are local.”
Proctors catered to the Hobdays of the community with three special screenings of the crime drama — which is being named among the top 10 films of the year by many critics — at its Mainstage on Saturday. Proctors CEO Philip Morris said the historic theater shows 175 movies a year on its screens, including many “second-run” films months after they wrap up their first runs in theaters. Tickets for these screenings are only $5.
“We’re doing it now because it’s finally available to us and because we know people are still interested in it,” he said.
The first screening at 1:30 p.m. sold 146 tickets, not including season ticket holders like Emily and Ricky Bessette, of Duanesburg. Two more screenings were held at 4:30 and 7:30 p.m.
The Bessettes showed up early Saturday to get good seats and popcorn. Much like Hobday, they just never got around to seeing the movie during its first run in theaters.
“We’re not big moviegoers, but we’re big Proctors-goers,” said Emily Bessette. “We go to a lot of Proctors shows and had heard about this in the newspaper. Even though we’re relatively new to the area — we’ve lived in Duanesburg for just four years — we definitely want to see if we recognize anything in the film from Schenectady. Plus, all of our friends who have seen it love it.”
The movie stars Gosling, Mendes and Cooper, but included plenty of small parts for locals, like the tellers at 1st National Bank of Scotia and officers in the Schenectady Police Department.
Directed by Derek Cianfrance, the film is a tale about how one misstep can lead to generations of turmoil. Gosling plays a carnival stunt bike rider who unexpectedly learns he fathered a son with a waitress (played by Mendes) as his act was passing through the area in the mid-1990s. Cooper plays a rookie cop whose path intersects with Gosling after Gosling’s character turns to robbing banks to support his son.
Filming began in late July 2011. The end result, at least for Schenectadians, was a movie filled with familiar landmarks, including the Dairy Circus on Sacandaga Road in Scotia, Trustco Bank on Brandywine Avenue in Schenectady, Ellis Medicine, Schenectady High School, 1st National Bank of Scotia, Vale Cemetery, St. John the Evangelist Church, City Hall and more.
“There’s this place I go hiking all the time that I think is in the movie,” Hobday said before stepping into the theater Saturday. “It’s this place at the top of Gower Road in Glenville by the rail bridge. That will be exciting to see.”