By David Bodenheimer
Published: Tuesday, May 3, 2011 at 5:34 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, May 3, 2011 at 5:34 p.m.
In what could be one of the fastest transformations in history, Kearney’s Drive-In on Southbound Street off West Fifth Avenue has become an ice cream parlor. For everyone craving a hamburger or hot dog from their favorite drive-in, don’t worry, the grill will be fired up again soon enough.
But Wednesday, for all intents and purposes the drive-in will be on display as an ice cream stand to be featured in the motion picture “Hick,” due out sometime next year.
“The setting is circa 1983, 1984,” said Brian Stultz, art director for Hick Picture Productions out of Wilmington, the company shooting the film. The vision Stultz has for Kearney’s is that of a typical 1950s inspired ice cream shop. It will take on the name of Uncle Mike’s Ice Cream Shop during filming in what Stultz described as a “short-piece scene.”
Details of the movie itself are still sketchy. Leading roles are set to be played by Emmy and Golden Globe winner Alec Baldwin, star of NBC’s “30 Rock”; Blake Lively from The CW’s “Gossip Girl” and 2010 critically-acclaimed thriller “The Town”; and Chloe Moretz, who starred in last year’s “Kick-Ass” and “Diary of a Wimpy Kid,” Stultz confirmed. Baldwin and Lively are said not to be featured in Wednesday’s scene.
The plot of the film, classified as a comedy and drama, features a young girl (Moretz) who runs away from her Nebraska home heading to Las Vegas when she receives more than she bargained for, according to a summary from the Internet Movie Database.
As a result of the staging and filming, Kearney’s closed Tuesday and will also be closed Wednesday. Kearney’s manager, Steve Koonts, said the brief closure has not been an inconvenience. Frankly, Koonts said, he’s excited to see the 1967 drive-in featured in a major feature-length film.
“I think it’s great for us,” he said. “We’ve never been a part or something like this.”
Crews first approached Koonts and Kearney’s owner Gregg Conrad about using the site a few months ago. Koonts said they received the official word they had been selected for the film about two weeks ago.
Stultz said they settled on Kearney’s because it had a charming Americana feel. He added the surrounding topography was ideal to work into the scenes, and the building itself had a very “homemade feel.”
“You get the feeling it’s a very mom-and-pop kind of an organization,” Stultz said. “That’s the theme we’re running with.”
Several scenes in the film will be shot in North Carolina. Earlier this week, crews filmed scenes featuring a bowling alley in Concord, and after filming the scene at Kearney’s, Stultz said crews will travel to Madison to continue filming.
David Bodenheimer can be reached at 249-3981, ext. 227, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.