Hollywood kingpins hit town

Apr 6, 2021 by

THE FILM CREW made some alterations to the Wakefield Bowladrome in preparation for shooting yesterday’s scenes for “The Tender Bar,” George Clooney’s forthcoming film starring Ben Affleck and Max Casella. The sign depicts tenpin bowling, whereas the Wakefield Bowladrome has only ever offered candlepin bowling.  (Mark Sardella Photo)

Published in the April 6, 2021 edition.

By MARK SARDELLA

WAKEFIELD — Water Street was transformed into Tinseltown yesterday as director George Clooney and star Ben Affleck were filming scenes at the Wakefield Bowladrome for their forthcoming movie, “The Tender Bar.”

DIRECTOR GEORGE CLOONEY on the set of his new movie “The Tender Bar,” which was shooting scenes yesterday at the Wakefield Bowladrome. (Terry McLaughlin Photo)

By noon yesterday, it was clear that something big was going on as dozens of crew members were wheeling film equipment onto the set from large tractor-trailers parked along Water Street. Vintage 1960s muscle cars with New York plates were strategically placed in the Bowladrome parking lot.

According to published reports, the film is based on the 2006 memoir by Pulitzer Prize winning journalist J.R. Moehringer.

Set in in Manhasset, Long Island, the story centers on the author, Moehringer, who as a young boy is seeking to fill the void left by his father, a New York City disc jockey who disappeared when his son was toddler. The boy turns to the corner pub where his uncle tends bar. There he finds friendship from his Uncle Charlie and other adults, who take him to the beach, to ballgames, and ultimately into their circle. He eventually breaks into journalism as a copy-boy at The New York Times and goes on to win a Pulitzer for feature writing at the L.A. Times.

In the movie, Ben Affleck plays Moehringer’s uncle and Tye Sheridan (“Ready Player One”) plays Moehringer. Lily Rabe has also been cast as well as Max Casella.

VINTAGE AUTOMOBILES filled the parking lot at Wakefield Bowladrome yesterday for the filming of a new movie set in the Sixties directed by George Clooney and starring Ben Affleck. (Mark Sardella Photo)

The script for “The Tender Bar” was written by William Monahan, who won an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for another Boston-based film, “The Departed.”

Clooney’s other feature film directing credits include “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind,” “Good Night and Good Luck,” “Leatherheads,” “The Ides of March,” “The Monuments Men” and “Suburbicon.”

Family-owned for decades, the Wakefield Bowladrome specializes in candlepin bowling. The establishment may have struck Clooney and his crew as the perfect retro setting for some of their movie scenes. The Wakefield Bowladrome under owner Tom Giordano has remained true to its roots while avoiding unnecessary modern gimmicks. 

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