When William Battle, one of the organizers of the feature film, “The Dangerfield’s Class of ‘64”, contacted Ona Alpert, the owner of Selden Plaza on Selden Street in Woodbridge, Ona had an idea why. “The bowling mural is known by so many, and the bowling lanes are a landmark for the area, I knew it had something to do with that,” she said. Indeed, it was. William described a feel-good movie, set in the 1960s, about four high school boys who form a band, The Dangerfields, and the obstacles they face following their dream. A musical comedy reminiscent of “Grease”, “The Dangerfield’s” is based on a true story. Proceeds from the film will be donated to the Wounded Warrior Project.
So, for most of the day on July 24, Selden Plaza became the place where movie magic happens, and 2019 became 1960 all over again. “Older buildings have a history and a soul that new buildings can not reproduce. The Plaza is a tangible representation of an era of optimism and growth. I’m happy to celebrate that,” Ona said. And, as if on cue, the director, Reno Venturi, yelled, “Action!” In total, about three scenes were shot in the Plaza utilizing the mural wall, inside Amity Bowl, Selden Street and in front of 26 Selden Street. Cast and crew included the original Dangerfields whose manager, “Manager Dick” as he is known, even came to watch the filming. “I’ve got to go,” he said as he was leaving, “and call Ruth Buzzi (former Laugh-In star) to wish her happy birthday!”
Built in 1950, the Selden Plaza has been the heart of Woodbridge’s entertainment district for decades, being home to a bowling center as well as restaurants, retail shops and a bicycle store. Today it was stage and set for entertainment of a different genre. For rental information, please contact Ona Alpert, 203-645-4200.
- Filming in front of bowling mural at Amity Bowl, 30 Selden Street. The cast members shown are, from left to right: David Kaminski, Michael Caruso, Kelly Caruso (in front with red skirt), Brandon Olivera (one of the stars of the movie), Ally Rusin and Laura Mazzioti.
- Filming in front of 26 Selden Street. Mike Greca (wearing hat) plays “Manager Dick” as director Reno Venturi (in yellow) watches.