Despite the “going out of business” signs plastered all over Schauer’s Hardware on Monday, the Madison Street mainstay isn’t going anywhere. The display was actually part of a little Hollywood makeover.
Television crews took over the store, as well as part of Beloit Avenue in Forest Park, to film scenes for the upcoming Fox drama about Chicago cops, “The Chicago Code.”
Shot for the pilot episode, the scenes were designed as flashbacks to the 1970s to reveal the back story of one of the main characters.
The crew didn’t have to make too many changes to the hardware store to make it fit the decade, said Wayne Schauer, owner for the past 15 years of the store at 7449 W. Madison St. That’s one of the reasons the location appealed to the director.
“They didn’t do too much,” he said. “They loved the store. They thought it was a great, great hardware store.”
As the place turned into “Colvin’s,” however, they did get rid of all the technology and computer equipment that was visible at the rear of the store, as well as the “no smoking” signs. Schauer dug out the store’s old cash register, and crew members made sure to turn over the newer dollar bills to make the appearance more accurate. Film extras were also decked out in ’70s attire – flared pants, paisley undershirts and tweed skirts – as they browsed the aisles.
“There was a lot of attention to detail,” said Richard Schauer, store manager.
By the end of the day, though, he said he was surprised by how long it took to film what could end up as only five minutes of the show, if they use the footage at all.
“It was very long, very boring,” he said, noting how repetitive the various takes were as crews filmed the same motions from different camera angles. “It created some buzz, though.”
In fact, Richard Schauer said he was fielding calls all day from people asking about the business closing.
“It put a little shock into the town,” he said, though it was all just for fun.
Earlier in the day, the crew also spent a couple of hours shooting a scene at a house on the 500 block of Beloit Avenue where Don Giuliano and his wife have lived for just over 30 years.
They said they were certainly surprised last Friday morning to answer the door to FOX TV.
“They drove by and decided they liked the house,” Giuliano said. “Particularly, they said they liked the willow tree in the yard.”
In the scene filmed there, a couple of characters stood on the porch and “looked sad” as a man nailed a “for sale” sign into the yard.
Giuliano, who watched the production in action, said he and his wife are excited to see if their house makes it into the show.
“It was fun,” he said. “It was so unusual. It doesn’t happen all the time. Plus we got some new plants out of it.”