Cinema History: Saved, Lost, and Threatened Boston Movie Locations
Boston is one of the oldest cities in America, a favorite among history buffs and Hollywood location scouts alike. While many famous movie locations there are still going strong, the Boston area has also faced its fair share of threatened locations, closures, and demolitions. Anjuli Johnson of On Location Tours reports.
Saved Movie Locations
Faneuil Hall Marketplace
Faneuil Hall (pictured above) was built in 1742, and the market expanded in the 1800s. But by the mid-1900s many of the buildings were deteriorating and empty. The marketplace was slated for demolition, but saved and renovated in the 1970s. Earlier this year, a plan was approved to update and renovate the marketplace for the first time in decades. Faneuil Hall Marketplace was featured in the 1968 movie Charly prior to its proposed demolition. More recently, it’s been seen in I Don’t Know How She Does It and Here Comes the Boom.
First opened in 1925 as The Metropolitan Theatre, this theater was slated for demolition by the 1980s. A monetary gift from Dr. An Wang saved it, restoring it to its former glory and giving it its new name: the Wang Theatre. It can be seen in two recent movies: American Hustle and Pink Panther 2.
The ballpark that’s home to the Boston Red Sox has been featured in many movies over the years, including Ted, Fever Pitch, The Town, Field of Dreams, Moneyball, A Civil Action, and Blown Away. In 1999, a new Fenway Park was proposed: a modern replica to be built nearby, retaining some of the most historic aspects of the old park. The proposal was controversial, with groups such as “Save Fenway Park” advocating for preservation and restoration rather than demolition. New management has renovated Fenway Park in the years since, and its rehabilitation has made it not only one of the City's most beloved attractions, but also a model for other historic ballparks across the country.
Lost Movie Locations
Boston Police B-2 District Station
The building housing the police station in Boston’s Roxbury neighborhood was abandoned in 2011 once construction of a new station was completed nearby. The old building was demolished in 2014. But while it was sitting empty, the buddy cop comedy The Heat, starring Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy, filmed there.
Anthony's Pier 4 Restaurant
This historic restaurant, featured in the 1968 film The Thomas Crown Affair, closed in 2013 due to construction and development along Boston’s waterfront. The empty building is set to be demolished next spring, but in its heyday, Anthony’s was one of the most successful restaurants in America, attracting numerous Hollywood stars and politicians.
Thornton Flower Shop
This flower shop in South Boston was chosen as the site of Town Flowers, the front for a local crime boss, in Ben Affleck’s The Town. Since then, Thornton Flower Shop closed and was replaced by a hardware store. The old one-story building is set to be demolished in order to make way for new condos.
Threatened Movie Locations
Northern Avenue Bridge
This pedestrian bridge spanning the Fort Point Channel from Downtown to South Boston was deemed unsafe and closed last December. Preservation of the bridge is under debate and its future is unknown. The Boondock Saints and What’s Your Number? both filmed there, as well as the TV series Chasing Life.
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