November 30, 1995
That Thing He
Filming of 'That Thing You Do' draws crowds hoping to get glimpse of Tom Hanks during three-week shooting in Plaza.
Hundreds of anxious and curious crowds gathered Tuesday to catch a glimpse of movie star Tom Hanks during the first day of shooting for Hank's writing and directing debut in "That Thing You Do."
Parts of the Plaza have been turned into Erie, Pa. in the summer of 1964 where members of a rock band in their 20s trek from their family's garage to stardom. The production shoot is scheduled through Dec. 15.
"We could have done it on a set if we had a $50 million budget," Hanks said. "But you don't get the kind of exteriors you get here.
"Even Erie, Pennsylvania doesn't look much like Erie, Pennsylvania did in 1964," said the two-time Oscar-winning star. "Plus it's winter up there right now and the movie's supposed be taking place in the summer."
Equipped with her point-and-ready-to-shoot 35mm Kodak camera, diehard fans like Carrie Wetter from Rialto arrived at 7:30 a.m. and sat in through the hot afternoon to get her chance to see Hanks.
"You can hear him say, `Cut!' I'm just waiting to catch a glimpse of him," Wetter said. "This is a once in a lifetime thing and I don't care what it takes. I'm willing to wait all day. I'll walk over coals barefoot for him."
Some even snuck around the Watson's building hoping to fish out the star.
"We walked down behind Watson's around the Army-Navy Store and through the parking lot and back of the building hoping we'd catch Tom Hanks sneaking out the back door," said Orange resident Belinda Savage.
"I have a feeling it's fantasyland," said Everett Caldwell, owner of Mr. C's Records store on North Glassell. "It's exciting to see how everything gets torn down and put back up. You get to see stuff that's done behind the scenes of a movie. I like the hustle and bustle of Hollywood, but only if it's temporary.
"I'm very excited. It's going to be fun to go to the movies and see my shop and my wife in the movie."
Pam Potter, of Orange, saw Hanks two weeks ago. Monday she brought her son, John, 13, to get a glimpse of him as well.
"Last time he said `hello' to me and a bunch of other people," she said. "At least I got to talk to him which was pretty exciting."
Deyan Barnhouse, of Orange, had just returned from South Carolina when her mom told her Hanks was in town.
"It's just a little surprising to see someone you see all the time in the movies standing right in front of you," Barnhouse said.
"The place already has turned into a tourist attraction," Watson's General Manager Steven Parker said. "After the movie comes out even more people are going to want to sit in the booth Tom Hanks sat in or walk in the stores he walked in."
The new old look
Here is a list of the storefronts that will change through Dec. 15 for the shooting of the Tom Hanks movie "That Thing You Do." A&P Collectibles/151 N. Glassell St.
(to become CHINA SHOP) Down Through the Years Antiques/155 N. Glassell
(to become MEN'S CLOTHING STORE) El Comedor Mexican Food/161 N. Glassell
(to become LIQUOR STORE) Consignment Shoppe/165 N. Glassell (to become MAJORETTE BEAUTY) Woody's Antiques/173 N. Glassell (to become OFFICE MACHINES) Orange Lock and Key/177 N. Glassell (to become HARRY E. MUELLER THE KEY MAN) Christian Science Reading Room/75 Plaza Square
(to stay as is) Collen O'Hara's Beauty
(to stay a beauty school) Mulhern & Odell Antiques/106 N. Glassell (to become SAL'S OYSTER BAR) Masonic Lodge Entrance/108 N. Glassell (to stay as is) Anthony's Fine Antiques/114 N. Glassell (to become INSURANCE/LOANS/CREDIT) Old Towne Mall Antiques/122 N. Glassell
(to become LADIES CLOTHING) O'Hara's Collectibles/128 N. Glassell (to become OPTICAL SHOP) Renee Jewelers/138 N. Glassell (to stay as is) Antiques & Gifts
(to become HAT SHOP) Antique Place/142 N. Glassell
(to become SHOE REPAIR) Encore Presentations/144 N. Glassell (to become YOUNGSTER SHOP) Jim & Shirley's/146 N. Glassell (to become MUSIC STORE) The Knot Knew Shop/148A N. Glassell (to become RESTAURANT) O'Hara's Pub/150 N. Glassell
(to become COCKTAILS) Cablevision of Orange/152 N. Glassell (to become ERIE GAS & ELECTRIC) Cablevision of Orange/154 N. Glassell
(to become BOYD WELDING CO.) Lucky Find Antiques
(to become FABRIC STORE) Licata's Orange Nutrition Center (to become 5&10 STORE) Army-Navy Store/131 S. Glassell
(to stay as is) World Travel/120 E. Chapman
(to become BAKERY) Wells Fargo Bank/101 E. Chapman
(to stay as bank) Wells Fargo Bank/111 E. Chapman
(to become NEWSPAPER OFFICE) Hot Skates/117 E. Chapman
(to stay as is) Swift & Swift/10 Plaza Square
(to become ERIE SPORT STORE) Building Entrance/112 E. Chapman (to stay as is) Son Light Christian Center/172 N. Glassell (to become REGENT THEATRE) Antiques and Me/149 N. Glassell (to become DRY CLEANERS) Orange Paint/ 143 N. Glassell
(To stay as PAINT/ HARDWARE STORE) Orange Camera/ 141 N. Glassell (To stay as CAMERA STORE) It's About Time Antiques/ 131 N. Glassell (To become STANLEY BROS. FURNITURE) Reflections Antiques/ 117 N. Glassell
(To become PHOTO STUDIO) The Rocking Chair Emporium/ 123 N. Glassell
(To become JACK CRAY SHOES) Empty Store/ 129 N. Glassell (To become PATTERSON'S APPLIANCES) CMB/ 115 N. Glassell (To become TOBACCO/CIGAR/NEWSPAPER STORE) Orange National Bank/ 77 Plaza Square
(To become THE BANK OF ERIE) Universal Reprographics/ 109 N. Glassell
(To become DISPATCH PRINTERS) Mr. C's Records/ 148 N. Glassell (To stay RECORD STORE) Watson's Drug Store/ 116 E. Chapman (To stay as DINER/DRUG STORE)