Lost in Yonkers

A Columbia Pictures full-length movie filed in Ludlow in 1992. The production was based on the Neil Simon Pulitzer Prize winner play by the same name. The film starred Richard Dreyfuss and Mercedes Ruehl.

Columbia Pictures officials chose Ludlow for the film, which is set in 1940’s Yonkers, New York. Officials were impressed with Elm Street’s intact architecture, the rolling green hills in the background and its location on the river.

Film officials transformed several blocks of Elm Street for filming. The crew constructed a temporary two-story candy store/apartment building on the parking lot of the Dairy Mart (northwest corner of Kenner and Elm Streets). The Dairy Mart itself was transformed into a 1940’s gasoline service station. Farrell’s Pharmacy received a new 1940’s era awning and a new advertisement sign painted on the Kenner Street side of the building. The New Game in Town received a new paint job and a sign, as did the Gooch Jewelry Shop and Muriell’s Antiques. The film crew built a false front for the old Goody’s Meat Market and transformed Kessler’s doctor’s office into a kosher butcher’s shop.

The crew’s attention to detail was extraordinary. To make the area look even more realistic, they placed an artificial cobblestone pavement over Kenner Street, planted victory gardens in several resident’s back yards and installed picket fences in several yards. A number of Ludlow residents were paid to remove television antennas and air conditions from their property (just in case that might be seen by the cameras).

Sts. Boniface and James Parish Center on Oak Street housed the wardrobe department and a lounge and cafeteria for the cast and crew. The building housed hundreds of 1940’s era costumes.

Filming began in August 1992, and lasted until early September. Filming in Ludlow occurred on 20 days (six days a week and often 12-14 hours per day). Over 800 local residents were hired as extras for filming.

Cincinnati Post, August 4, 1992, p. 1B and August 10, 1992, p. 1A and 1B; Kentucky Post, September 21, 1992, p. 1K.

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