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1970s-era street signs, storefronts and cars suddenly appeared in Crown Heights, Brooklyn this weekend for the upcoming film Wonderstruck, by director Todd Haynes (Carol, Far from Heaven, Mildred Pierce). The movie stars Julianne Moore and Michelle Williams and is based on the Brian Selznick novel of the same name.


Wonderstruck-Film Set-Crown Heights-Brooklyn-Julianne Moore-Michelle Williams-Todd Haynes-Brian Selznick-NYCBedford and Rogers Avenue intersection becomes Amsterdam Avenue and Rogers Avenue

The book takes place in both 1927 and 1977, following the stories of two teenagers who hope for different lives and run away to New York City. In the book, one story is told in prose, the other through pictures. In the movie, deaf actress Millicent Simmons will play the part of Rose from 1927 – told as a silent movie.

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It makes sense to shoot Crown Heights like the Upper West Side of the 1970s. There’s a lot to draw comparisons from – the townhouse-lined side streets, the music on the streets, the residents on stoops, the community feel you get when you walk around. Old-school signage can still be found and people actually say hello. And like the Upper West Side in its transition stage, developmental pressures are ever-present. Some of the scenes shot in Crown Heights are also for the 1920s era part of the movie.

Wonderstruck-Film Set-Crown Heights-Brooklyn-Julianne Moore-Michelle Williams-Todd Haynes-Brian Selznick-NYC-001Drugstore storefront set under construction

Wonderstruck-Film-Set-Crown-Heights-Brooklyn-Julianne-Moore-Michelle-Williams-Todd-Haynes-Brian-Selznick-NYC-001Drugstore storefront set mid-way. Windows were temporarily removed off of New Life Tabernacle church for the construction

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In addition to filming at New Life Tabernacle, the Studebaker building was transformed. Grates were removed off the first floor and columns were added.

Wonderstruck-Film Set-Crown Heights-Brooklyn-Julianne Moore-Michelle Williams-Todd Haynes-Brian Selznick-NYC-003The Studebaker building on Sterling Place and Bedford Avenue gets new “marble” columns

Wonderstruck-Film Set-Crown Heights-Brooklyn-Julianne Moore-Michelle Williams-Todd Haynes-Brian Selznick-NYC-002An added storefront

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Fellow Crown Heights resident Rebecca Baird-RembaChristopher Inoa and Augustin Pasquet also captured the vintage cars and storefronts used in the set of Wonderstruck:

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Wonderstruck-Film Set-Crown Heights-Brooklyn-Julianne Moore-Michelle Williams-Todd Haynes-Brian Selznick-NYC-003 Wonderstruck-Film Set-Crown Heights-Brooklyn-Julianne Moore-Michelle Williams-Todd Haynes-Brian Selznick-NYC-002

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Next, see the NYC Film Locations for Daredevil and more in our Film Locations column.

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