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Salem Falls - but Fergus rocks at premiere

On with the show - Director Bradley Walsh, Cherry Hill Entertainment owner George Mochrie and film location manager A.J. Hordal take a moment prior to the screening of Salem Falls in the Fergus Grand Theatre last weekend.  photo by Mike Robinson  Click here for additional video by Mike Robinson

Salem Falls - but Fergus rocks at premiere

by Mike Robinson


It was a full house Friday night at the Grand Theatre for the town’s premiere of Salem Falls.

Though the trailer of Salem Falls states “In this town ... strangers ... are not welcome,” the same is not true for Fergus, where the movie was filmed.

Director Bradley Walsh and location manager A.J. Hordal were welcomed with open arms at the Grand Theatre. The pair were special guests for the two Friday night screenings of Salem Falls.

Both spoke prior to both showings.

Filmed here last fall, downtown Fergus served as the backdrop for many of the locations of Salem Falls.

And residents young and old were in attendance, a few arrived nearly an hour early since they knew there were only a limited number of seats.

Deborah Gould, of Elora, said she and her daughter came to see Salem Falls “based on the book by Jodi Picoult, a wonderful author.”

“I remember watching our local little Black & White restaurant turn into the Do Or Diner ... that was enough to captivate my interest.”

Her daughter, Lindsay Plant, of Cambridge, came to watch the show with her mom.

Gould added, “We knew there were only 100 people who’d be able to get in, so we knew we should get here early.”

For Larry and Gayle Caudle, of Fergus, much of the attraction was seeing their hometown on the big screen.

Gayle said, “I had just finished reading Salem Falls and loved the book.”

Residents Camille Slack and Serena Soucy were taking a break from a class project.

Soucy said they had both taken a look at the book and reviews to see the story. “And we’d seen the filming during the summer and thought it would be great to see the movie.”

Slack said, “It was odd to see people filming in your town. You never think of places in the movies as actual places. We saw all the cameras and it was really surreal.”

Soucy added, “It was really interesting to see how Fergus was portrayed on the screen.”

Though full, the audience reaction may not have been typical as many, if not most, were there to see their home town on the screen as much as fans of the original novel.

The story revolves around former teacher Jack McBradden, who moves to Salem Falls after a student’s crush led to false accusations and a wrongful conviction for sexual assault. He finds a job and settles into a new routine, but everything turns around when a trio of teenage girls with dark secrets maliciously target him with accusations of assaulting Gillian.

Now at the center of a modern day witch-hunt, Jack must once again proclaim his innocence to a town searching for answers and the woman who has come to love him.

Much of the filming took place along the river behind the Fergus Grand Theatre, at the Black and White Restaurant, the former downtown OPP station and inside a main street store.

Cherry Hill owner George Mochrie who sponsored the screenings, explained Salem Falls has aired only in the United States on Lifetime TV and was not available in Canada until Feb. 14.

Mochrie said he had been talking with Kerry Rajotte at the Fergus Grand Theatre and thought it would be great to show the film locally.

“We got in touch with the Lifetime network in the U.S.A. and were able to get so pre-DVDs, because they are not going to be available for sale in Canada until April.

As an added bonus, Deb Dalziel, of Centre Wellington Fergus Elora tourism, was able to get in touch with the director and location manager who agreed to speak before both Friday night showings.

“It’s just a great giveback to the community.”

Mochrie said he received calls from as far as Mount Forest wondering if there would seating available for the shows.

Cherry Hill Entertainment will have copies of the film for rent this week and available for purchase April 17.

Click here for additional video by Mike Robinson.

Vol 45 Issue 07

February 17, 2012


Community Guide Winter 2018

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