Hollywood comes to Muse’s Mr. Zzzzz’s Pub and Pizza, Italian Club
The state of the snowstorm wasn’t the only talk around Cecil Township the morning of Dec. 10. Circulating in the village of Muse, along with snowflakes, were cameramen, various crew members, actors, security guards and a small fleet of trucks.
The A&E Network zeroed in on a local pub for its ambience and rustic atmosphere, and the Muse Italian Club exterior was being readied for its close-up as a post office with the addition of a red, white and blue mailbox wheeled into place for the production of the drama “Those Who Kill.”
“A lot of things go on in this small town,” said Alfred Lemon, who was keeping an eye on Mr. Zzzzz’s Pub and Pizza, where a twisted bundle of yellow, red and green electrical cables strung across the threshold stood out in the bleak snow.
According to a story last April in The Hollywood Reporter by Michael O’Connell, the series will star Chloë Sevigny and James D’Arcy as a “detective and forensic psychiatrist, respectively, who work together to track down serial killers – and investigate the ongoing mystery of Sevigny’s character’s stepfather, whom she believes to be a killer as well.” The 10-episode season, based on novels by Danish author Elsebeth Egholm, will debut next year.
A neighbor, Jeremiah Atkinson, described Mr. Zzzzz’s as “extravagant with an old-fashioned theme.” The walls are covered with owner Richard Zelinsky’s collections, where, near the pool table, a visitor can find a trophy buck, eagle insignia, a sickle and an oil lamp.
Atkinson, 23, woke up the morning of Dec. 10 to find a 20th Century Fox vehicle parked next to his house. Like the snow that fell silently, the crew and trucks just appeared.
And, just like the roles the stars will be playing, Atkinson, too, did some sleuthing to discover the title of the drama.
“I’ve seen commercials for the series,” Atkinson said.
Zelinsky, who, like his late father, Leroy, is Mr. Zzzzz, had a clue to offer about the episode being filmed in his establishment.
“A bathtub scene with a dead body,” the proprietor intoned.
The business for 32 years was Centennial Pizza, a name still evident on indoor and outdoor signs, before Zelinsky obtained a liquor license three years ago.
So how does a tavern make the leap from neighborhood watering hole with a flat-screen TV above the bar to a location in a show that’s going to be airing some day on that same screen?
Enter Chris Hinton.
“He just popped in one day and told me he was going to do some filming, and they decided to do it here,” Zelinsky said, introducing a bearded man in a pea coat.
“I do locations on movies and television,” explained Hinton, who works for Pacific 2.1 Entertainment Group Inc. and also freelances for various entertainment companies. “A couple of years ago we had scouted and photographed.”
Hinton showed the photos to the series’ director, who then gave the village the once-over.
“Immediately we fell in love with this area, with Muse,” Hinton said. Traffic was restricted that day on Muse-Bishop Road because it is going to be the scene of a roadblock in “Those Who Kill.”
This aspect required discussions about logistics with township manager Don Gennuso.
The weather wasn’t necessarily part of the talks.
“It was a bit challenging getting some actors here,” Hinton said. “There were a few wrecks, accidents on the Parkway, so it delayed us a little bit, but we’re used to battling the elements.”
It occurred to Lemon that it was perhaps fortuitous that snowfall caused Canon-McMillan School District to cancel classes. That way, the road closure didn’t affect any bus routes.
“We’re here for the day and then we pull everything out and we’re off to the next location,” Hinton said.
And where might that be?
“I can’t say, but it’s not here in town,” Hinton said.
“Pittsburgh” was as close as he would get to revealing the film crew’s next stop. The episode with scenes shot in Muse is expected to air in January 2015.
Across the street from Mr. Zzzzz’s, in the parking lot of the 75-year-old Italian Club, known for its monthly dinners of tripe or meatballs in slow-simmered tomato sauce, club president Norman DelVecchio and Kevin Rubis, trustee, were on hand “to see if they need anything here,” DelVecchio said.
The unusual traffic pattern on Muse-Bishop didn’t bother Nick Mahramus, owner of Specialty Auto Service. “I kind of welcome it, if you know what I mean? I like to see the logistics and what goes on here.”