Making Movies At The Music Hall


Actor Matt Damon among fans and camera phones at the Music Hall

The Music Hall Theatre has been buzzing with activity, from 23 events in October to being a location for the November filming of The Good Shepherd, a film starring Matt Damon and Angelina Jolie and directed by Robert De Niro.

The Theater, Set Back Inn and many storefronts on Main Street were redecorated to resemble 1950s downtown Washington. Vintage cars completed the set. Fans suffered the cold or the rain to catch a glimpse of Robert De Niro and Matt Damon. The film is scheduled to be released in December of 2006.

The Good Shepherd is the sixth feature film shot in the Music Hall, having also been the movie set for The Preacher’s Wife starring Whitney Houston & Denzel Washington, The Impostors starring Stanley Tucci & Oliver Platt, The Secret Lives of Dentists starring Denis Leary & Campbell Scott, Mona Lisa Smile starring Julia Roberts, and Game 6 starring Michael Keaton & Robert Downey Jr.

Numerous documentaries, television specials, photo shoots and commercials have also been made in the Music Hall including WNET’s Broadway: The American Musical hosted by Julie Andrews, the most comprehensive documentary ever made for television, and a Chloroseptic commercial directed by native Tarrytowner Eugene Arduino for Prestige Brands Inc., an Irvington company.

The Music Hall is a place where films are shot and also seen. Several times a month, speakers such as film critic Marshall Fine, satirist Joe Queenan and Museum of the Moving Image chief curator David Schwartz introduce and discuss films with the audience. Less than 6 percent of the theaters in the United States were built before 1900 and the Music Hall is one of them, having opened its doors in 1885. Celebrating its 120th birthday this year, it is the oldest continually operating theater in Westchester.

The Music Hall is owned and operated by a not-for-profit organization called the Friends of the Mozartina. The Friends are presently working on a feasibility study and a master plan for the entire restoration of the Music Hall which will include paint restoration as well as the incorporation of additional public and backstage amenities.

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