‘Invitation to a Bonfire’ Series Returns to New Bedford for More Filming
The crew of the AMC series Invitation to a Bonfire returned to New Bedford this week.
Staff from Above the Line Production Rentals on Tuesday were on the block of Acushnet Avenue behind Greater New Bedford Community Health Center and Carter's Clothing.
This comes a couple of weeks after the production filmed scenes on William Street near New Bedford Whaling Museum.
The light rain and drizzle weren't stopping the crews from switching over the storefronts to a theme similar to the one we saw a couple of weeks ago near Freestone's and the former Arthur Moniz studio a few blocks away.
The show is set in the 1930s, and this is the second time New Bedford has been transformed to look like that decade. According to Deadline.com, the series is a "psychological thriller (set largely) at an all-girls boarding school in New Jersey."
I snapped a few photos in black and white, and it is incredible how authentic they look. For example, this picture of a cracked wheat sign was taken today using my iPhone.
Tell me this couldn't be passed off as a 90-year-old photo.
This time, the set consisted of a penny restaurant for the poor and a multi-purpose furniture store, along with a sporting goods, clothing and loan store.
Walking down Acushnet Avenue had the same feel as walking on a Warner Brothers studio lot in Hollywood.
The street had been converted to look like the 1930s. The set is clearly portraying the Depression era, with signs encouraging unemployed folks to "stay strong with nutritious foods" and offering free coffee and doughnuts for people without jobs.
The restaurant was like a 1930s version of our Dollar Store, only everything was only a penny including cereal, potato and macaroni salad, cheese sandwiches, tomato soup, milk and more.
I looked back and found an authentic photo of the era preserved at the Library of Congress. The set designers obviously did their homework. Look at the similarities between the authentic photo and the set. The cracked wheat sign is an exact match.
Here is the photo I took today in New Bedford. I intentionally left the modern-day workers in the photo to show the contrast between the two worlds.
With its return to New Bedford, it seems as if AMC is pleased with the way its Whaling City scenes are turning out.
Harris & Ewing, photographer. (1932) Group outside 1 Cent Restaurant, National Demonstration, Bernarr MacFadden Foundation Unemployment Relief. United States, 1932. [or 1933] [Photograph] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/2016890050/.