Hastings Returns to the Silver Screen!

Hastings Returns to the Silver Screen!

Sam Kennedy, Managing Editor

Those who have been on Main Street in the past few weeks might have noticed that things looked a little differently than they normally do. The sidewalks were lined with vintage cars, cameras flanked each building, and, most glaringly, an entirely new storefront appeared out of thin air. 

 A quick glance showed that this was evidently a film set, with some research revealing that it was, more specifically, the set of an upcoming Apple TV series, The Crowded Room. Created by Akiva Goldsman and starring Tom Holland (the current Spider-Man of the Marvel Cinematic Universe), the show is described by an April 2021 press release as a “gripping anthology series” chronicling the life of the fictional Danny Sullivan (who is very similar to the real Billy Milligan, the first person to ever be acquitted of a crime because of dissociative identity disorder, formerly known as multiple personality disorder). A section of the series takes place in the 1970s, and Hastings certainly dressed the part to match.


Hastings-on-Hudson is no stranger to movie and television shoots. In the past few years, the town has been home to a variety of productions, from a laid-back reality show in the form of Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, to high-stakes dramas like 2016’s The Girl on the Train (starring Emily Blunt) and HBO’s series Divorce, as well as Amazon’s rom-com Modern Love.

 Still, the extent to which the town was transformed for The Crowded Room shoot was stunning and beyond the smaller-scale shoots of the past. Most of the signage was changed, but, beyond that, multiple small businesses had their window displays changed to reflect the mid-late twentieth-century setting of the show (though Clockwork Records immediately fit right in with the ‘70s theme). Old Fords could be seen running up and down Main and Warburton right alongside the newest Subarus. For a few days, Main Street really did look like it had been untouched for the past fifty years. 


There were a few minor gripes from locals about the shoot. One junior noted that the set made it hard to get to the bagel store during lunch. Generally, on the days of filming, it seems to have been a bit more difficult to access downtown businesses. 

However, generally residents, both young and old, agreed that the filming was good for the local economy. One adult resident noted how Hastings has a “relatively small” commercial tax base (the amount of money the town receives from businesses) which made the funds the shoot brought in much needed. Older residents especially seemed happy with the money the shoot brought in, especially when considering the added costliness of the pandemic.


Additionally, and more so among the students, there was a consensus that it was just cool to see the live film set and the major star power that came with it. The set of The Crowded Room was much more public and open than other local film sets have been in the past few years, such as Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, which filmed almost entirely inside the Hastings Diner. Residents were mostly free to walk through the set as they wished and witness the activity behind a professional production.


Overall, there has been an overwhelmingly positive reception from the town regarding the set. While some are happy about the money it brought the town, and others were just excited to be on the set of a professional production, Hastings residents seem delighted to have hosted the film shoot.