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Former New Ken jewelry store to be actual site of Hollywood film shoot

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Jack Fordyce | Tribune-Review
The former Bloser's Jewelers building along Fifth Avenue in New Kensington will be used as a movie set for 'Where'd You Go, Bernadette.'

A building in New Kensington is being used for filming scenes for a Hollywood movie this summer — but not the one that was reported Friday.

A production crew is preparing for the shoot at the former Bloser's Jewelers building at 965 Fifth Ave., according to building owner Marvin Williams.

Williams said that crews have been quietly working there for sometime to prepare the building for the shoot.

He said the building is being converted to look like a pharmacy for its part in the film, “Where'd You Go, Bernadette,” starring Cate Blanchett. Also featured are Laurence Fishburne, Kristen Wiig and Billy Crudup.

The movie is set in Seattle, but filming is taking place in Vancouver and the Pittsburgh area, with Pittsburgh serving as Seattle's stand-in.

“They (production crews) have been very pleased with the location and have been working there for a couple of months,” Williams said.

According to Williams, the building is what drew the production to the city.

“It's a very interesting building, particularly inside, where there are vaulted ceilings,” he said.

According to Mayor Tom Guzzo, the former Bloser's building was most recently occupied by 5th Avenue Vapor, a vape shop.

A portion of Fifth Avenue in New Kensington will be closed during the shoot in mid-July, however information is not yet available on the times, dates or extent of the closures.

A Page A1 story in Friday's edition incorrectly stated that the old Jones & Laughlin Steel building, at Constitution Boulevard and Seventh Street, was being used in the film production.

That building now houses Metalworking Machinery Co. Inc. Dave Sestini, a company accountant and Arnold resident, said the building is not involved.

New Kensington City Clerk Dennis Scarpiniti said Friday that the confusion about the location most likely happened because of discussion about a second film production potentially in the works for the city.

Robert Pataki, owner of Pugdog's Rock and Bead Shop, also on Fifth Avenue, said that he doesn't expect the street closures to be a negative.

“It's going to bring people into town, they need to eat, they need things to do,” Pataki said. “It's not like this is a booming business street. You go with the flow; maybe this will bring something good into town.”

Corey Pistininzi, the owner of another Fifth Avenue business called Modfinish, said he hopes to see a celebrity drop by his shop.

“Maybe Laurence Fishburne will buy a piece of art from me,” Pistininzi said.

Emil Hanulik, corporate officer for Signalgraph Security, also of Fifth Avenue, said that the shoot may be a good sign for the future.

“Who knows: maybe we'll get movies made here all the time,” Hanulik said.

Leif Greiss is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-226-4681, [email protected] or via Twitter @Leif_Greiss. Staff writer Matthew Medsger contributed to this report.

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