CHAMBERSBURG >> The third installment of the offbeat backwoods trilogy "Route 30 Three!" will premiere July 11 in Capitol Theater, 159 S. Main St., bringing John Putch's local film trilogy to a close.
The screening and complete box set DVD release party of the final chapter of these quirky comedies will unspool at 7 p.m.
Tickets are available at www.thecapitoltheatre.org/movies.html, or call 717-236-0202.
Since 2008, Chambersburg native John Putch has been filming his independent film trilogy along Route 30, spanning Franklin and Adams counties between Chambersburg and Gettysburg.
"Route 30 Three!" focuses on the mysterious disappearance of Rotten Egg, a camera that reveals the truth in every photo, and a man's quest to become "less" boring.
"If you haven't seen the previous two films, it's OK because they all stand alone," said Putch. "And I want to take the opportunity to thank the friends and local businesses in the area that helped make the films so special."
Local businesses that are highlighted in part three include Norlo Park, Mister Ed's Elephant Museum, The Historic Round Barn, The National Apple Museum, Cumberland Valley Drive-In, Camp Penn, Lincoln Lanes, Caledonia Golf Course, Remember When Flea Market, Rite Spot Motel and The Cottage Pub.
"Major scenes from the film were shot at all these locations which really made the movie rich and authentic." Putch said. "When I sit down to write the screenplay I usually contact the business and ask if they would allow filming there. When the answer is yes, I go ahead with the scene."
Behind the scenes, the films have always relied on help from Totem Pole Playhouse, Putch's childhood theatrical home. Totem Pole has provided production support for the films. Part one was filmed in the theater and parts two and three have used some of the equipment and shot special effects sequences on the grounds.
Mister Ed's Elephant Museum has the honor of appearing in all three films. Its showman proprietor Ed Gotwalt has also had roles in the movies. "I've had such a great time working with John as an actor," said Gotwalt. "I can't wait to play a different character than myself in his upcoming film."
Chambersburg's The Cottage Pub has appeared in the last two films. "Tom Boock and Mary Caldwell have been incredibly generous in letting us shoot some major sequences at their restaurant. And Tonya Knouse-White of The Round Barn has seen her historic building's interior and exterior in the last two films as well," Putch said.
The local star of part three is Guilford Township's Norlo Park. Many scenes were filmed there and the township provided the farmhouse for use as a production office for Putch and his tiny crew.
The film screening will be followed by a question-and-answer period with Putch and his cast.
For the end of the trilogy Putch has compiled a DVD/Blu Ray box set collection, which will be released the day of the screening and sold at the theater. Putch and cast will be available in the lobby to autograph DVDs. Cast include Wil Love, Carl Schurr, Ed Gotwalt, Noah Applebaum, Molly Lahr, Ray Ficca and Lee Wilkof.
New film set to shoot
Even though the trilogy is over, Putch plans to shoot a new film this summer with the help of friends in Franklin County. The new movie, "The Father and the Bear," is a theater story and will be set mostly at Totem Pole Playhouse. The film stars Totem Pole stage icon Wil Love and David DeLuise, who last appeared in "Route 30" as Original Bill. Love plays a retired actor who attempts one more performance even though he secretly suffers from dementia.
"Definitely a heavier subject," said Putch. "But the film will still have the heart and whimsy that has become a hallmark of my movies."