The Inside Scoop

Last Sunday evening, I had supper at Benny’s Café on West Broadway. A delicious soup and a toasted and buttered bagel, all for $5.25, draws me there often. I like the funky atmosphere, too. Locals say the place hasn’t changed an iota since hippie days.

I noticed a small sign on the door, “Closed on Monday, July 24.” I wondered if all the staff would be at a funeral. That’s the common reason a business establishment shuts for a day.

On Monday, my schedule took me along Broadway, and the real, much happier, cause for the closure emerged. Lines of white trucks. Lights on booms. People in orange vests directing pedestrian traffic.

Curious, I parked nearby and struck up a conversation with an orange-vested employee. She confirmed my hunch that a movie shoot was in progress in three businesses. She was allowed to give out only the name, “Inside Voice.”

She asked me about Benny’s because she had disappointed several people when she told them it wasn’t open that day.

“But I always have coffee and a bagel at Benny’s,” was a typical response.

Knowing that I was still curious about the movie, she gave me a tip. If I Googled “IMDb” and the name, I would access a database about movies in the making.

“Inside Voice” is an American, made-for-TV, family movie, due to be released in 2018. I assume that the era of the script is the 60s, based on the décor of Benny’s and of the restaurant-turned-set beside it, a retro American-style diner. Some of the actors who headed out of it for lunch wore “Café Diem” tee shirts. It would seem the movie isn’t going to use the real name, “Moderne Burger.” I get why.

I quietly wondered if the movie will show the churchy-looking stained glass window over Benny’s front door, visible only from the inside. I noticed it recently when I sat at a table on the upper level. A happy and benign-looking Jesus staring at me seemed out of place until I saw what he held in the joints between his right index and middle finger – a large joint of another sort.

Somehow, I doubt if that image will show up in a movie targeted towards a family audience.

But no worries. At least you have the inside scoop now.

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