Movie brings crowds, lulls to Bridge St. businesses
SHELBURNE FALLS — Friday brought another day of star-gazing to the village, as spectators cued up for one more day of filmmaking in rural western Massachusetts.
Meanwhile, shops that have done booming business during filming of “The Judge” for the past two weeks, and those who haven’t, are hoping the film will do the town some good in the long run.
The Foxtown Diner has had to double its food order for every week since the May 31 filming began, according to worker Taylor Shippee. She said both film crew members and filmmaking spectators have been pouring in and pouring out. When interviewed during Friday afternoon’s filming, only one table was occupied. “Sometimes when they take a break, all the people come in to eat. Then, when it starts again, they all go out,” she said.
Young & Constantin Gallery owner Kathy Young said there hasn’t been much business while the filming goes on — but there’s been more business than usual on the weekends for early June.
“What I see is ‘the vibe’ of Shelburne Falls — the idea that it’s a cool place to be in. I’ve had customers in my store saying ‘I haven’t been here in years.’ There’s been the newspapers, TV and radio (reports of the movie-making). It’s almost a daily thing. There’s a buzz,” she said.
Singley’s Furniture has provided an upstairs setting for one of the film scenes, but the movie-making has prevented some walk-in traffic, according to John Singley.
“I think the movie people have been very nice,” said Singley, who said that Warner Bros. has rented some furniture from the store and provided some compensation for the business slow-down. “Quite honestly, everyone has been very polite,” he said.
“Robert Downey Jr. is going to throw out the first pitch (today) for the Little League game in Cricket Field.”
Mary Keegan of Mary’s Hair Studio says business has been down, but she doesn’t mind it — it gives her time to watch some of the filming.
“I saw Robert Downey Jr. today, and I was like a little kid,” she said. “So, yes. I’m definitely one of the star-struck people. That’s why I’m OK with it.”
“But it’s been dead, because all of the locals are calling to reschedule,” she said. “Some don’t want anything to do with (the film-making.)”
Keegan said some of the crew members have come in for haircuts.
“I think it’s great,” said Bob Fisher of the Trolley Stop Antiques. “The last movie was good for me,” he said of his business, and this one was just as good. “For me, it’s all foot traffic,” he said, alluding to complaints about lack of nearby parking during filming. “I’ve sold stuff today already,” he continued. “I’ve been here long enough to know it will all work out in the end.”
Film stars Vincent D’Onofrio and Grace Zabriskie might be seen in one of the movie shots wearing clothing from Rethreads Consignment Store.
Last year, for the movie “Labor Day,” Rethreads was used as a clothing store setting. This year, the storefront is supposed to represent the outside of a tavern.
“Changing the face of the store was the toughest thing,” said Leisha Eaton. “At least last year, the store was a boutique. We’ve lost some people but (the film crew) brought quite a bit here.”
“Overall, I think it’s a good thing,” said Mark Eaton. “I hope the town looks at it as a good experience.”
West End Pub owner Paul St. Martin said the filmmaking has definitely given his business a boost. Some of his tables, looking out upon the Iron Bridge, have provided customers ring-side tables for some of the scenes.
“As far as I’m concerned, the movie has been great for this town,” he said.
The encampment of trailers and equipment on Deerfield Avenue seems to have slowed foot traffic to the Shelburne Falls Yoga Studio, but owner Kate Pousant Scarborough has been taking it in stride.
“I have no complaints,” she said. “Everyone, from the drivers to the security workers, to the actors themselves have been really supportive and friendly,” she said.
“There are certainly some people who haven’t come because of the parking but what pleases me is to see my neighbors doing increased business. From a business perspective, to see my neighbors doing better is a good thing. On a personal level,” Scarborough added, “I’ve made a lot of contacts and have introduced the world of yoga to them.”
Scarborough mentions teaching some yoga moves to a wounded veteran who is working with the security detail. Also, when asked if any of the Hollywood celebrities have come in for classes, she says, “Let’s just say we’ve seen some interesting people.”
Mary Vilbon, director of the Greater Shelburne Falls Area Business Association, said many of the production crew came to last weekend’s RiverFest, buying lots of local maple syrup, and other goods. “Also, the ‘buy local’ shopping cards have really been used,” she said.
Tiffany Pentz of Otis & Co. vintage clothing, said business has been much slower, with the filming, but that the filmmakers have compensated her — “so that evens it out,” she said. Pentz said actress Vera Farmiga bought some things at her shop, as have some members of the costume department.
Keystone Market owner Kenny Patel said business during the filmmaking has been “way down.”
“No customers. That’s all I can say. But I hope it’s good for the town,” he said.
You can reach Diane Broncaccio at:
or 413-772-0261, ext. 277