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Here is how Bella Boutique looks normally. Watch to see them with a fictional name in the “True Blood” series.
Here is how Bella Boutique looks normally. Watch to see them with a fictional name in the “True Blood” series.

Montrose … Take Two

The next time you are watching your favorite TV series you might see something that looks very familiar. It seems the film industry has a renewed interest in the Montrose Shopping Park these days as several prominent series are being shot on our streets and in our stores and cafes.

Just last week we had a major film shoot as HBO’s award winning series “True Blood” came to town and took over Bella Boutique for a full day of shooting. Bella owner Janet Vandagriff knows how these things work as she was a film editor for many years working with all the major studios. She has nothing but praise for HBO and their professionalism describing their film crew like a “small city” complete with round the clock security and medical personnel.

According to Janet, these folks put in long days. They showed up at her store at 7 a.m. on a Thursday and took detailed pictures of how the store was arranged so they could put everything back in perfect order when they were done. “True Blood,” in its fifth season, is a series about the co-existence of humans and vampires set in Bon Temps, a small town in Louisiana. It has a huge cast and stars real life husband and wife team Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer.

For last week’s scenes, the cast worked all day and well into the night finishing up at 1 a.m. Friday morning. Janet was there much of that time and watched as they also shot scenes at The Black Cow, Images Salon and in the alley. Of course in the show they will be changing the name of her store from Bella to a fictional name but we should recognize it nonetheless.

Filming in Montrose is a good thing for many reasons. In addition to giving us good publicity, it also provides an extra source of income for the shopping park and our merchants. In recessionary times this helps us pay for the special events and advertising the MSPA does to promote the community.

Another by-product is that the film crews help support our stores by shopping and dining. Many of them have never been to Montrose before and are charmed and amazed by such a cute town so close to the hustle and bustle of L.A.

Did you know that just three days ago Jason Isaacs was walking Honolulu Avenue filming the new NBC series “Awake”? If you saw him you probably wouldn’t recognize him. But if he had shoulder length white blonde hair like his character for his most popular role he would surely set off a major frenzy. Yes, Jason Isaacs played Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter movies!

So keep your eyes open and keep shopping Montrose. It’s very exciting here, especially with many of our stores and cafes ready for Valentine’s Day.

Mary Dawson serves as vice president for the MSPA board. She and her family own Revelation Tops and Mountain Rose Gifts.