Thursday, January 21, 2010

A Moment of Glory for 25 Main Street

By Judy (Wemer) Chamberlain

Movie crew in front of 25 Main Street, transformed with temporary tiling and potted plants into a Santa Barbara restaurant. (photo copyright Anne Marie Leone)

Hastings was all a buzz this past summer with the news that a movie was being filmed on Main Street. It is exciting when something out of the ordinary happens in a small town. It gives everyone something to talk about, and it makes for good “people watching.” The featured actors included Meryl Streep, Steve Martin, and Alec Baldwin, though only Meryl was in the scene shot this June in the village.

It’s Complicated, the new romantic comedy written and directed by Nancy Meyers, chose to feature one of my favorite buildings in town. The First National Bank building, on the corner of Main and Whitman, was built in 1907, and through its long history the building has housed an assortment of businesses.

Postcard from about 1912 showing the bank building

My connection to 25 Main Street was through a dentist. Dr. Stewart had his office on the second floor. Mounting the steps was like marching to the gallows. I would walk down from school with dread for my afternoon appointments. I remember that the waiting room was austere, the magazines of little interest to me, and time waiting for my turn in the chair, unbearable.

There was one bright spot though. The receptionist was a lovely lady with silver gray hair, who always had a large colorful handkerchief attached to her stiff white nurse’s uniform. Her name was Mrs. Feury. I think her first name may have been Beth, but since I never called her anything but Mrs. Feury, I’m not certain. She was efficient and tried her best to put patients, especially nervous children, at ease -- no small feat given the antiquated drills that awaited you beyond the closed door.

Photograph from 1929 by A.C. Langmuir. The slogan on the window reads: "Love and Thrift Make Happy Homes."

Today the office of dentist Dr. Harvey Kutz is located at 25 Main. However, now for at least the run of this newly released film, the sturdy brick building with its pleasant arches, will be famous in Hastings for its transformation into a restaurant.

Unfortunately, only those who stopped by in person to watch will know this, because the scene shot here ended up on the cutting room floor. For the rest of us who intently watched the film to spot our landmark, well, we’ll have to be content to know that this fine building brought a film crew, Oscar-winning actress Meryl Streep, and some excitement to Hastings.

Editor’s Note: We have lots of photographs of 25 Main, but not when it was Dr. Stewart’s office. Does anyone have such a photograph that they could lend us?

The lost scene: Meryl in the rain. (photo copyright Anne Marie Leone)

DiggIt!Add to del.icio.usAdd to Technorati Faves

1 comment:

  1. Now I know why the bank clock was temporarily removed. Meryl Streep in Hastings - wow! She was in the same high school class with my brother-in-law at Bernardsville NJ. My wife and I met her briefly in 1980's London, where we were staying at Blakes Hotel. She had the room just above ours. Pretty lady and very brilliant actress.
    Bob Russell