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"Lost in Yonkers" Returns to Ludlow Where it Was Filmed

The film Lost in Yonkers returns to Ludlow this weekend, nearly thirty years after the movie was shot there.

The film, based on the Neil Simon Play of the same name, will play at the former Ludlow Theater, now Bircus Brewery on Sunday, November 14.

Doors open at 5 p.m. with an introduction by Ludlow artist Tom Gaither at 6 p.m. Tickets are $5. There is a special family package with pizza, drinks, and the movie available. Tickets can be purchased online at www.bircus.com or during opening hours beginning at 4 p.m. the brewery.

Proceeds benefit the Ludlow Historic Society's preservation programs.

The Columbia Pictures production arrived in Ludlow in 1992, despite its 1940s New York setting. The city was transformed for the comedy, which starred Richard Dreyfuss and Mercedes Ruehl. 

According to a web post by the Kenton County Public Library, several blocks of Elm Street were transformed with a temporary two-story candy store and apartment building added on the parking lot of a convenient store at Kenner and Elm streets. That convenient store was turned into a gas station for the film.

Farrell's Pharmacy was turned into a mid-century facade with an era-appropriate awning and advertisement sign. Other businesses were also costumed to accommodate the production.

An artificial cobblestone pavement was placed over Kenner Street, and victory gardens, common during World War II, were placed in some residents' backyards along with picket fences.

Lost in Yonkers premiered on Broadway as a play in 1991 and ran for 780 performances. The film was released in 1993 to positive reviews, though it grossed only $9 million at the box office on a $15 million budget.

The story, set in 1942, is of two teenage boys whose mother died and were then cared for by an aunt and grandmother who owned a candy store.

-Staff report

Photo via Kenton Co. Public Library shows the production in Ludlow in 1992