Clothes, photographs from movie displayed as part of 20th anniversary festivities
By Rachel Ravina, Staff Writer
(Aug. 8, 2019) Fans of “Runaway Bride” can reminisce about the film’s location in Berlin with an array of memorabilia this month at the Calvin B. Taylor House Museum on Main Street.
“We were happy to be able to have some of these things to put out on display,” said curator Susan Taylor.
The museum has a display board featuring clothing items worn by extras, photographs and newspaper clippings. It was showcased on the museum’s lawn during the Berlin Peach Festival Saturday.
In the film, Richard Gere plays a journalist who tracks down a bride, Julia Roberts, who became notorious for leaving her grooms at the altar. The film is set in the town of “Hale,” a reference to the Hale Harrison brilliant peach grown by the Harrison Brothers orchards and nurseries from the turn of the century to the 1960s.
Patrons can also peruse photo albums in the Harrison Room to get a better sense of what the town looked like 20 years ago. Anyone interested in learning more about the exhibit can visit the museum on 208 N. Main St. in Berlin.
Taylor said Berlin’s month-long festivities inspired the idea of featuring the keepsakes.
“We’ve really just showcased them this year because of the town’s celebration, but they’ve always been in the room for people to look at,” Taylor said.
People can take a guided walking tour at 4 p.m. on Mondays and get their picture taken with cardboard cutouts of Roberts and Gere at a photo station at the Berlin Visitors Center on 14 S. Main St. from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Fans can also participate in a 25-question movie trivia game. Contestants with 10 correct answers would be eligible for a free one-night stay at the Atlantic Hotel on Main Street in downtown Berlin. Completed trivia papers should be submitted to a collection box in the welcome center’s vestibule.
Additionally, shops featured in the movie would have posters in the windows, and wedding bows will adorn the town’s lampposts on Main Street.
The townwide bash will culminate with the Berlin Arts and Entertainment Committee’s showing of Runaway Bride at 8:30 p.m. on Aug. 24 at the intersection of Jefferson and Main streets.
“It was a crazy time,” Taylor said of the time the Garry Marshall film was being shot in the town.
She recalled seeing the bright set lighting shining on Halloween night when they filmed on Baker Street in Berlin.
“Julia Roberts’ house was the blue house at the end of Baker Street. So that night they were filming,” Taylor said. “They had cranes across the street that were taller than the houses so the whole Baker Street was lit up. It was like daylight.”
Taylor said thousands of people had lined up hoping to be cast as an extra in the movie.
“I know during the filming too, of course, people came from everywhere to watch,” she said. “So there was a lot of new people that you don’t usually see … and of course everybody was looking out for Richard Gere and Julia Roberts.”
While Taylor couldn’t remember any specific encounters with the actors themselves, many people tried to catch a glimpse of the film’s stars while they were in town.
“I, like a lot of people, we were just standing around gawking,” she said.
When filming wrapped, Taylor said the museum had a larger exhibit featuring a three-tiered cake and photographs of the town that were taken by several board members.
Moreover, Taylor said the movie’s 20th anniversary was a perfect time to revamp the exhibit and organize the photo albums. She also stressed how the experience set Berlin apart from other places.
“That’s something that a lot of small towns really don’t have in their history so everything that happens in Berlin I think is a part of our history, and this was such a big part that year, and subsequent years,” Taylor said. “It continues to be a part of the history.”
For more information about the exhibit, call the museum at 410-641-1019.