Word has spread quickly that the movie “Happiest Season” will be taking over part of Olde Town Grove City next week.
“We’re delighted to see how excited everybody is getting,” said David Valenza, owner and general manager of Nonni’s Corner Trattoria.
A scene will be filmed at Nonni’s and the Guthrie Theatre, and social media is buzzing with comments from people who want to be an extra in the movie, a romantic comedy by TriStar Productions that features Kristen Stewart, Mackenzie Davis, Mary Steenburgen, Victor Garber, Alison Brie, Aubrey Plaza and Dan Levy.
Chelsea Lynn Peterson, extras casting director with Movie Casting PGH, said that those who are interested can email email@example.com.
Write “GROVE CITY” in the subject line, and include your name, age, phone number, height, weight and a clear and current photo.
“Happiest Season” will set up on South Broad Street from about 4 p.m. Thursday through 8 a.m. Friday.
It’s the last week of filming, according to a post on the “Movie Casting PGH” Facebook page.
Thursday’s filming will include a “mom and pop” diner plus drivers with cars, the casting agency reported.
“We’re very excited to be filming in the neighborhood,” Rachel Roth, a spokesperson for Iron City Film Works, said on Thursday.
Her company is serving as liaison between location shooting and TriStar Productions, the company making the film. On Monday, TriStar received permission from Grove City council members to close Broad Street between College Avenue and Pine Street for shooting.
“Happiest Season,” scheduled for a holiday release, is set at Christmastime.
Stewart’s character, Abby, plans to propose to her girlfriend — Harper, played by Davis — at a holiday party, but Harper has not yet come out to her conservative parents.
The set will be closed, meaning that the public will not be able to see anything up close, Roth said.
“We move really quickly,” she said, adding that photography will not be permitted.
Valenza said Iron City Film Works made a good choice in choosing a beautiful location with beautiful people.
“We’re just so happy that people outside of Grove City saw what we saw,” he said.
The restaurant will be closed for business during filming, and he hopes that the town enjoys its moment in the spotlight.
“They fell in love with Grove City,” Bill Grigsby said of the film crew.
Grigsby is chief financial officer and business manager of the Guthrie and Veritas Arts – the nonprofit that runs the theater.
Spencer T. Folmar, founder and president of Veritas Arts, was instrumental in connecting Iron City Film Works with Grove City, Grigsby said.
Folmar, who also works as a movie producer and director, learned that the “Happiest Season” team was looking for a theater to film a scene.
Representatives came to Grove City, and one of the first things they saw was the lighted Guthrie marquee.
“They didn’t have to think about it,” Grigsby said, noting that the theater will be closed on Thursday.
He couldn’t say much about what will be going on at the Guthrie on Thursday, but he knows that the wording on the marquee will be changed.
Grigsby, who’s in Clifton, Texas, opening up the Cliftex Theatre – Veritas Arts’ latest purchase – said Pennsylvania is one of the few states with a great film tax rebate incentive.
He is hoping that more small towns like Grove City attract film studios.
It’s more cost-effective for production companies, and it can help boost tourism, he said.
“Happiest Season,” scheduled for a Nov. 20 release, is directed by Clea DuVall, produced by Marty Bowen and Isaac Klausner, and written by DuVall and Mary Holland.