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Filming at Friendly's: The Movies Come to Medfield (Take 2)

For the second time in as many years, a major motion picture was filmed in a vacant building in Medfield. On Thursday, Kate Winslet was at the former Friendly's to film a scene for her new movie, "Labor Day."

Actress Kate Winslet was in Medfield Thursday night to film a scene in her new movie, “Labor Day.”

In 2010, Winslet's Titanic co-star, Leonardo DiCaprio was in town to film "Shutter Island" at the former Medfield State Hospital.

On Thursday, the corner of Routes 109 and 27 was the hub of activity all day as the movie crew “re-opened the former Friendly’s restaurant (which closed in October) for the movie that stars Winslet as a single mother and Josh Brolin as an escaped convict. 

The encounter between the two, and Winslet’s on-screen son, takes place over Labor Day weekend.

One of the scenes takes place in a Friendly’s Restaurant in the early 1980s.

“They were actually in the area earlier in the year to find an appropriate house to do a filming in, apparently some of the filming occurs in some type of residential house,” said Police Chief Robert Meaney Jr. 

“They ended up finding a better house that fit the script better in another part of the state, I think it was in Western Mass, but while they were driving through they saw the empty Friendly’s,” he said.

The filming took place Thursday night but the crew worked all day to prepare the building by blackening the windows and installing a “Friendly Ice Cream” sign in keeping with the timing of the movie.  The restaurant chain added the apostrophe and letter ‘s’ in 1989.  

Cast and crew members utilized several areas in town, including the parking lot behind the adjacent plaza, the Cumberland Farms parking lot (where a huge spotlight sat beside the building), and Sluggers Academy for staging and parking areas.

The movie, directed by Jason Reitman (who also directed Juno), is based on the book “Labor Day” by Joyce Maynard. 

Moviemakers have been filming in the area for the last week and shot scenes at the Benny’s in Mansfield, the Lotus Restaurant in Medway, and Metrowest Medical Center.

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