Rhode Island is no Stranger to Hollywood by Mary Ann Gallo.

There seems to have been a boom of films shot in Rhode Island in recent years. Hollywood has in a way put the state on the big screen map leaving many Rhode Islanders wondering just what establishments were used and for which productions.

Perhaps Rhode Island boasts all the right ingredients for those picture perfect scenes that movie producers and directors are trying to find. "Rhode Island is conducive to the film industry because in one hour you can go from the ocean to the mountains," says Barry Blier, owner of Barry's Night Club in Warwick. Barry's, a popular Rhode Island nightspot since 1979, was the backdrop for a scene from the movie Federal Hill. Blier and the movie's director/producer/screenwriter, Michael Corrente, were former high school classmates. Angelo's Restaurant on Atwells Avenue and the late night Haven Brothers Diner in Kennedy Plaza in Providence are featured in this 1995 drama as well.

Aldrich Mansion, also located in Warwick, doubled as home to William Parrish, played by Anthony Hopkins in Meet Joe Black in 1998. Brad Pitt also starred as the title role.

"The exposure was very good. We don't have royalty, so sometimes Hollywood movie stars are as close as we get," says Delia McDermott, in charge of Sales and Marketing. "It was delightful to meet Anthony Hopkins and Brad Pitt," adds McDermott.

The City of Newport is no stranger to the movies either. Rosecliff Mansion has been used in several Hollywood productions. The Newport landmark doubled as the main residence in The Great Gatsby in 1974 and as the White House in Amistad in 1997. It was in True Lies starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and directed by James Cameron that this Newport attraction took on different surroundings in one movie in 1994. It was used as an embassy and as a private extravagant home.

"It is a house that lends itself to those eras, that of the gilded age, the slave trade, and a modern palatial home," says Philip Pelletier, Director of Special Events for Newport County.

The well-known Providence bar, the Hot Club, was featured in There's Something about Mary in 1998 directed by Rhode Island's own Bobby and Peter Farrelly.

"It was good for business. It had an impact for at least a couple of years after it was shot," says Joshua Miller, owner.

This popular meeting place may be popping up on television screens next. Showtime was in town shooting scenes for a pilot called, The Brotherhood, according to Miller.

With more and more films taking place in the Ocean State, there is no wonder that the fascination to even catch a glimpse or recognize a familiar Rhode Island location has become somewhat of a hobby.

That is what Christopher Martin of Johnston calls his website, www.quahog.org.

Not only does his website serve has a resource for Rhode Island movie and television information, but Martin has included other general fun facts and interesting trivia too.

"I do it because I find it interesting. It's fun to spot Rhode Island places on the big screen and it's a big thrill for me because there is fantastic scenery to be used for film and television," says Martin.

This article last edited March 24, 2008

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