If you haven't seen the movie The Wrestler yet, don't worry. I'm not going to spoil any major plot points. If you haven't seen Marley & Me... THE DOG DIES. Yup.
Anyway, I did see The Wrestler and it's now one of my all time favorite wrestling pictures (ranking somewhere in between No Holds Barred and Nacho Libre.
Since the movie used lots of actual New Jersey locations I packed up a few Celine Dion CDs and hit the road.
Vintage Mode in Elizabeth NJ
In the film Mickey Rourke and Marisa Tomei visit a vintage clothing shop on Elizabeth Avenue in Elizabeth NJ.
How appropriate given that Rourke plays a wrestler named Randy and Randy Savage was a wrestler who was managed by Miss Elizabeth.
I could only imagine that if his character was named Muraco they would have shot the movie in Fuji, Japan or if his name was Bigelow they would have shot it in Oliver Humperdink, Nebraska.
Here is Rourke standing on Elizabeth Avenue. The van parked on the right is his character's van.
And here is a picture I took. The black car is mine. I tried to park in the same spot, but I think Randy (Rourke) was parked illegally.
Here is the shot of (Cassidy) Tomei:
The window looked almost the same today. Of course, the shot the movie less than a year ago:
Inside Randy and Cassidy looked at jackets:
I couldn't find that jacket, but I did find a similar looking green jacket. Here I am holding it:
The owner of the store was very nice. She hadn't seen the movie and was very concerned that her store didn't look "junky" in the flick. She had an autographed picture of Tomei and a T-shirt with Rourke's face hanging on the wall:
Next stop was the Acme. Acme is an East Coast grocery store chain... and I think they also supplied the Coyote with Roadrunner traps.
In the film Randy works at the deli counter:
Here I am standing in front of that very deli counter (and feeling a bit silly being photographed at a grocery store deli counter):
Here is Randy walking down one of the aisles:
And here is that same aisle today:
Fascinating isn't it?
Ahh, maybe not.
Here is a more exciting location:
Cassidy works at a gentleman's club... and by that I mean one where women take their clothes off... not one where gentlemen sit around in top hats and monocles and watch monkeys ride on tricycles. If you know where one of those places is, please tell me.
I don't know where they filmed the interiors, but the outside was a club in NJ called Cheeques. Get it? Like butt cheeks only spelled gayer. They even have a butt on the door:
This is also where they shot a scene where Cassidy leaves through the back door of the club and sits in Randy's car in the parking lot:
Here is the back door:
In the back of the parking lot was another area that was shown in the film a few times:
In the movie they stuck a fake pay phone here and Randy goes here to make phone calls.
After my day of location scouting I came home with a couple souvenirs:
I have that green jacket and one of those "take a number thingies" I took a number... I just never gave it back.
I also picked up something at the strip club, but the doctor gave me some pills and said it should clear up in a week or two.