The Life From The Roots blog topics have changed several times since I began this blog. In 2009, with my first posts, I wrote only about the family history I had been working on for 20 years. Many ancestors lived in New England so it was easy to visit gravesites and towns where they lived. I shared many photo. Years later, I was into visiting gardens, historical homes, churches, libraries that had genealogical collections, historical societies, war memorials, in general, anything to do with history. I enjoy posting autographs and photos of famous people I met or saw.

My New England roots are in Connecticut and Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire). Other areas include New York, New Jersey, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, and the Eastern Townships of Quebec, Canada.

Please check out the labels on the right side for topics. Below the labels and pageviews is a listing of my top nine posts, according to Google. Four of them pertain to Lowell, MA, three are memorials, one about a surname and one about a discovery I made. These posts change often because they are based on what people are reading.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Five Movies Made in Lowell

My photo taken at the Luna Theater in Lowell, Massachusetts.

Since 2008 there have been four major movies filmed in Lowell, Massachusetts. The first two were actually filmed in 2008 and were almost entirely filmed in the city. The last two were filmed in 2017. The idea to do this blog stemmed from when I happened to see Ricky Gervais on the set of his new movie, and shortly after that, I saw Mark Wahlberg for a fleeting second on the set of his movie on a street off of Lincoln Parkway. The first section lists the four movies, with their trailers, the second section covers each of the movies, and the last has a lot of miscellaneous.

The five movies, with titles and links to their trailer or information, are:

The Invention of Lying

The Fighter

Proud Mary

Professor Marston and Wonder Woman

School Ties

Since I saw two being filmed, partially and was able to locate scenes from all of them, I decided to take photos of the locations. Perhaps some Lowell residents might be interested. For those interested, these two are based on true stories; The Fighter and Professor Marston and Wonder Woman.


Clip from the very first visual in the movie.

Hasting Street, Cupples Square (below photo, credit to
the movie).

Cupples Square (Westford and Pine Sts.)
Opening scenes were taken here.
The above photo was taken in 2018 (with the island on the left side and Pine St. is one way) and the below photo taken about 2013.

The Olympia Restaurant (Market Street), where Amy Adams had dinner.


This location on Central Street is where a lot of filming was done. It was here, where I saw and got to say hello to Director and actor Ricky Gervais. I was in my car, on the left. Very warm spring day, windows down. The photo location below is when I turned around. Both scenes were in the movie.
Looking at Kearney Sq., Central and Merrimack Sts.

Bridge Street (where cop Edward Norton played one of his funniest roles).

This shot is in the movie, and the following year I went to take this photo of the Massachusetts Mills and Eastern Canal.

Lowell  Auditorium was the location for the Casino.

John Street, location for the theater that showed, "The Plague."


In the movie, a young boy is about to enter the blue door.
Moulton Avenue (used for the above and below shots)
The trailer (below) shows a car speeding down this alley.

The minute I saw this shot, I knew where it was filmed, unfortunately, not in Lowell, but at the Stonehurst Estate in Waltham. See my blog for more photos at:
A better photo of the bookcase. A chair replaced the fire hydrant.

A lot of filming was done in an alley, off of Palmer Street. I was there, couldn't see anything, but heard several "Action"s being shouted. However, once the movie came out, I never saw evidence that anything from that location made it to be big screen.
Palmer Street was blocked off to everybody but hired staff. I took this picture from the same alley, but across from the filming, and was watched by a LA sound crew member, who told me not to make a sound.

A week later, I walked this alley, and couldn't see anything that would have been in the movie.


There were so many scenes that looked familiar, and I tried to find them, but couldn't. However, one of the best, I did find, and I think it tells it all. Here we have a quick shot of Greenwich Village, NYC, 1940. Anybody from Lowell would recognize this scene immediately and know it is on Middle Street. Rodgers Toy store is still in business.

Taken on a Sunday when nobody was around. Unfortunately, I didn't see any filming, but did walk the street, and saw the yellow car.

From the Lowell Sun newspaper, I'm sharing a few interesting articles. The first from Ricky Gervais who tells us why he chose Lowell to film. Some actors in his movie had long roles, but were not given credit on the screen, they were Jason Bateman.  Edward Norton, and Philip Seymour Hoffman.

"Almost the entire movie was filmed in late spring of 2008 in Lowell, and there is no mistaking the cobblestone city streets with any other. For 100 minutes, the city shines as a place where no one is able to tell a lie.
In an interview with The Sun on the set last May, Gervais said he chose Lowell because "it looks so good on film."
He continued, "It's because it is very different. There is no town like it. I think it is really important to make your own iconography. On the face of it, it looks like what you imagine a typical American town to be, but different. So it's just perfect. It's really got a lot of character. The architecture is great.
"It's just something that already looks quaint and the streets look great. I love the way they put the lights in the trees. It's going to look really good. Lowell is going to look great in this film."
And he was right. The city was ready for its close-up and little makeup was required."
Movie locations for The Fighter

Excellent article about the production of Professor Marston

Newspaper article about the filming of Proud Mary and Taraji P. Henson.

School Ties had opening scenes in Lowell.
The film School Ties was released in 1992. Filmed throughout the region, it featured scenes that were shot in Lowell in 1991. Set in the 1950s, it told the story of a star quarterback given the opportunity to attend an elite preparatory school but must conceal the fact that he is Jewish.

The opening scene was at this store.