Remember Favorite Movies by Visiting Where They Were Filmed
By Victor Block
Bob Burrus is channeling John Travolta. He enters Lenny's Pizza in Brooklyn and orders a slice. After devouring the snack, he emerges onto 86th Street and struts down several blocks as the song "Staying Alive" plays in his head. Bob is reliving the opening scene of the 1977 motion picture "Saturday Night Fever." And he's not alone. As he mimics one of his favorite movie sequences, others around the country are fantasizing theirs.
From Maine to Hawaii, places where parts or all of movies were filmed attract visitors seeking to hold on to memories of beloved motion pictures. At places ranging from a delicatessen in New York to a beach in Hawaii, from a state reformatory in Ohio to an island off the coast of South Carolina, people recapture treasured scenes.
Folks in the know stop by Katz's Delicatessen in New York City and plop down at a table marked by a sign that identifies it as a prop from the movie "When Harry Met Sally." That's where Meg Ryan acted out the famous scene that prompted an elderly woman at a nearby table, played by director Rob Reiner's mother, to tell the waitperson, "I'll have what she's having."
Some visitors to Maine are on a quest to relive scenes from movies based on books by Stephen King. The master of horror has lived in that state for most of his life, and places in Bangor and elsewhere play roles in his novels.
The Thomas Hill Standpipe, a water tower built in Bangor in 1897, shows up in his novel "It" when the bodies of a number of drowning victims show up inside. The Mount Hope Cemetery is the setting for scenes from "Pet Sematary," and the names of some characters in that film are believed to have been borrowed from headstones.
King's creepy Victorian-style house also is worth a look-see. It dates back to 1858 and is surrounded by a fence decorated with bats and gargoyles. A good way to take in these and other places associated with the author and his books is to join a tour group led by Stuart Tinker, a recognized expert in all things Stephen King.
As long as you're in Maine, you might wish to take in other film locations. Sand Beach on Mount Desert Island was the site of a picnic in "The Cider House Rules." The Marshall Point Lighthouse near Point Clyde is where Forrest Gump ended his run across the country from California's Pacific coastline to "another ocean." More about him later.
Not surprisingly Hawaii has a number of motion picture claims to fame. In what may be the most legendary beach scene of all time, Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr engaged in a passionate kiss on the shore of Halona Cave in "From Here to Eternity."
A very different scene occurs in the original version of "Planet of the Apes" (1968), which starred a craggy-looking Charlton Heston. The movie comes to an end on a magnificent strip of sand located between Zuma Beach and Point Dune in Malibu.