Locals got to see how slow the movie-making process is last Monday as crews for an untitled movie shot scenes outside the Two Door Restaurant in the Chickahominy neighborhood of Greenwich.
There were plenty of vintage cars and a van queued up on Hamilton Avenue.
But producer Tracey Landon wouldn't say whether the film's stars— ("Bull Durham, "Shawshank Redemption," "Mystic River") rapper Mos Def who appeared in the remake "The Italian Job," and Isla Fischer ("The Wedding Crashers" and "Confessions of a Shopaholic")—were in the neighborhood.
But that didn't matter to Josh Handler and his sister Sammy, Keren Leshen and Samantha Colby, a young quartet of Aniston fans from Rye Brook, NY, who said they drove around Greenwich until they found the film shoot. "We're huge fans of Jennifer Aniston," said Samantha Colby, who "would love to get into the industry working behind the scenes."
Wendy Bellantoni, who lives nearby on Stone Avenue, she said she was glad the shoot was still in progress when she returned home from work late Monday afternoon. "I saw them bringing in the cars early this morning."
Vintage cars from the 1970s—including a 1970 Cadillac Coupe deVille, a Chevelle and a Monte Carlo—were parked along Hamilton Avenue in the constant drizzle and fog Monday afternoon as crews moved equipment and set up a chase scene outside the Two Door Restaurant that was transformed into Willis' Show Bar.
The film—which remains untitled—is about car thieves pulling one last heist is set in 1979 Detroit and is based upon the Elmore Leonard novel 'The Switch.'
There were many takes and retakes of one outdoor scene involving a character being struck by a van. Knots of camera crews and stuntmen had to pause many times throughout the day to allow traffic to pass through. Passersby and patrons of the nearby Express Pizza and Garden Catering paused to get a glimpse of the action.
The changes made inside the cozy neighborhood watering hole were ironic for Two Door co-owner Robert Roina. The restaurant was stripped of its tables and chairs, touch-tone telephones, flat screens, cash register and imported beer taps. Crews outfitted the place with 1970s era furnishings, right down to a metal garbage buckets placed outside the front door, and a cigarette machine at the bar.
"When we bought the place, there was one just like it," said Roina who's co-owned the Two Door with his brother Charlie since 1992.
After the outdoor filming wrapped up late Monday afternoon, the bar scenes were to have been shot inside the Two Door. The movie crews will continue their filming throughout Greenwich and Stamford for the month.
Landon said the arrival of the blizzard Friday afternoon did cut short filming at the Old Greenwich Tennis Academy in Old Greenwich. Private homes and businesses in both towns including the Fairview Country Club in backcountry Greenwich will be backdrops for scenes as well.
Roina said while his patrons were excited about the filming, they were disappointed they would miss a Monday night at the bar, which is to reopen for business on Tuesday.
Roina recalled that after being approached by movie location scouts several weeks ago, "We thought what the heck, why not." His patrons, Roina said, "They all think it's cool—something to talk about. It's good for Chickahominy. It's good for Greenwich."
He said he'll probably have an opening night party when the film is released sometime next year.