Last September members of a Fox film crew walked into Wayne Schauer’s Madison Street hardware shop and asked to shoot a scene for an upcoming TV series in his store.
The crew was filming the first few episodes of the network cop drama “The Chicago Code,” and they wanted to use Schauer’s to replicate the setting of an “old-fashioned hardware store” in the 1970s, said Rich Schauer, Wayne’s son.
“They [film crew] took out all the electronics and tried to make it an old-fashioned hardware store; which isn’t hard to do,” Rich said.
Little transformation is necessary; Schauer’s is very much like your grandfather’s hardware store, in stark contrast to the growing number of big box retailers like The Home Depot.
Wayne Schauer purchased the venerable Peaslee Hardware at 7449 Madison in 1996, after closing another shop he had in Chicago. Rich said that he and his father have operated four stores, in Chicago and in Winfield, over the course of several decades. The Forest Park location is the last branch of their operation.
The show premiered Monday night and the scene at Schauer’s called for a “For Sale” sign to be hung in the window; which apparently worried and confused many of the store’s patrons.
“We were getting phone calls and e-mails from people asking, ‘Are you guys closing?'” Rich said. “It was kind of funny.”
Both father and son said they were fascinated by the technical aspects of the filming; and by the amount of time spent on one scene.
“It was real interesting to see how they put a film together,” Wayne said. “How many times they did overtakes.”
“An hour of shooting will be probably 30 seconds,” Rich echoed.
In all, the filming took around seven hours, Rich said.
The scene depicts the adolescent version of Jessica Beals’ character, Chicago Police Supt. Teresa Colvin, in her father’s hardware store; which he ends up losing after falling victim to the city’s pay to play culture. Colvin is the department’s first female superintendent, one who is willing to remedy the city’s societal and political ills.
On Monday, Schauer’s was abuzz with a line of customers. Outside the store was a placard that read: “SEE US ON CHICAGO CODE STARTING MON FEB 7.”
They’re also using social media to promote their appearance on network television. On their Facebook business page, Schauer’s posted a trailer for the show, which includes a millisecond of the scene filmed there – which appeared on the Monday night pilot episode.
“here is a preview of the scene…right at the beginning!!! [sic]” reads the post.