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Is Focus Features Giving Schenectady the Shaft?

There’s a really ugly Hollywood PR storm brewing in Schenectady, New York. One that Focus Features would do well to quell asap.

Per an article by Paul Grondahl in Albany’s Times-Union newspaper, city officials, locals and at least one area native prominently associated with The Place Beyond the Pines are all mystified by the apparent lack of any plans for a promised spring premiere at Proctors. The Ryan Gosling-Bradley Cooper drama was filmed all over Schenectady in the summer of 2011; the building on the poster crop at right for example is a Trustco bank branch at the corner of State Street and Brandywine Avenue. From Grondahl’s report:

“I’m annoyed with these guys,” said Philip Morris, CEO of Proctors. He said the producers and distributor are not returning his calls, even though his staff assisted the production…

“I’ve been trying to reach them for months and they’ve ignored me. All of us have a bad taste in our mouths,” said Don Rittner, commissioner of the Schenectady Film Commission. He helped lure the film to the city instead of other locations that were scouted and had a bit part in a bank robbery scene.

The trailer for Pines is currently showing at another Schenectady movie house, Bow-Tie Theatres, suggesting the crime drama will screen there. But we have a feeling the Times-Union article may well lead Focus to make good on the more grandiose promises made two years ago. The Place Beyond the Pines is scheduled to open in limited release March 29 and expand April 12.

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