Wednesday, January 16, 2008

GL gets go-ahead to shoot scenes in Peapack-Gladstone

There was Holsten's Old-Fashioned Ice Cream Parlour in Bloomfield, Satriale's pork store in Kearny and Centanni's Meat Market in Elizabeth -- all immortalized for viewers nationwide who tuned in to HBO's "The Sopranos."

Now, the Gladstone Tavern, Peapack Reformed Church and the Komline house in the bucolic borough of Peapack-Gladstone could be next to become Garden State icons on the small screen.

With last night's approval from the local land use board, the soap opera "Guiding Light" now has approval to lease the Komline house -- a secluded Dutch Colonial-style house on 32 acres of thick woods owned by the borough -- to shoot scenes for the long-running daytime show.

"We feel the show we produce represents every town in America," said Ellen Wheeler, executive producer, pointing to the 2,400-person borough's appeal.

Together, the borough and producer TeleVest Daytime Programs Inc. of New York City asked for a use variance because the property is in a residential zone and commercial use is banned. With the two-year deal, Peapack-Gladstone would get $7,500 per month from the production company to use the stately abode on Apgar Avenue near Pottersville Road.

Members of the land use board raised few concerns during last night's meeting and unanimously granted the variance. Potential security problems and any impact for surrounding residents would likely be minimal because the show keeps a low profile, and neither paparazzi nor throngs of fans chase the show's cast and crew, producers said.

"I wish I could say that would be a problem," Wheeler said to chuckles from board members. "My fondest wish is that people waited outside for autographs of our actors, but they don't."

The show may use the property's tennis courts to shoot scenes, but it will avoid using the pool because of liability concerns, show officials said. Peapack-Gladstone won't be mentioned in credits for the soap, which tapes about 250 episodes a year.

The "Guiding Light" crew has stepped foot in Peapack-Gladstone before, using locations such as the Elm Cottage and the Blairsden estate in the affluent borough last summer as a backdrop for the fictional Midwestern town of Springfield. The soap actors usually shoot in Manhattan, but they occasionally venture outside the city for certain scenes.

The show could begin filming as soon as Jan. 29, and the cast and crew would likely spend about two days a week in Peapack-Gladstone. Local landmarks, such as the Peapack Reformed Church and the Gladstone Tavern, also could become regulars on the show, producers have said.

The borough purchased the estate -- initially built by the founders of the local Komline-Sanderson manufacturing company -- from Elizabeth Komline, wife of the company founder, for $6.9 million in 2005.

When the crew shoots scenes for the 70-year-old drama in Peapack-Gladstone, about 10 to 25 people from the show will be bused from New York City to borough hall, reaching the estate through the back of the property to avoid traveling on Apgar Avenue. Shooting would take place mainly between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. weekdays.

1 comment:

  1. "Peapack-Gladstone would get $7,500 per month from the production company to use the stately abode on Apgar Avenue near Pottersville Road."

    It would be worth paying them $7,500 just to stay in New York City. They are the most condescending, pretentious, unlikeable bunch of buffoons ever to pass through Gladstone.