Rahway welcomes Hollywood

In the spirit of tonight’s 80th annual Oscars, as well as Rahway’s own Hollywood presence last week, we present our new poll question, below right. Be sure to cast your vote, and add your two cents in the comments section.

If you’ve seen any recent photos of Mickey Rourke (yikes!), you’ll understand why I chose the lovely Marisa Tomei, left, to grace Rahway Rising this week. The two will star in the movie, “The Wrestler,” which last week filmed at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Rahway and the Rahway Recreation Center.

IMDB added Evan Rachel Wood to the cast within the past week. The film, scheduled for a 2009 release, is directed by Darren Aronofsky, who also did “Requiem for a Dream.”

It was only a few years ago that “The School of Rock” was filmed in Rahway, with the Union County Arts Center playing host to the climactic scenes. If you haven’t seen it, you obviously don’t get TBS on your cable system. Also filmed in Rahway were “Rounders” and “City Hall.” You won’t find those last two on IMDB as Rahway locations, but you will find “He Got Game,” since it was filmed partially at East Jersey State Prison (which has a Rahway PO Box but is located in Woodbridge) as well as some lesser-known films. It also lists “Something Wild,” though I haven’t been able to confirm that with anyone who was around back then. If anyone knows of other movies that were filmed in Rahway, feel free to chime in.

As for the previous poll, we had another record response, with 58 votes, up more than 30 percent from 44 votes in the previous poll. Woo hoo! (with subdued enthusiasm, knowing it’s not a scientific poll.) Regardless, here are the results:

“Do you feel safe walking downtown after dark?”
— Sure, even Grandma runs out for cigarettes and liquor after dark. (1/58) 1 percent

— No worries; I do all the time and have never had any trouble. (25/58) 43 percent

— Somewhat, but I’d prefer to have a friend with me. (21/58) 36 percent

— Only if escorted by Steven Seagal or Charles Bronson. (9/58) 15 percent

— What downtown? (2/58) 2 percent

If memory serves correctly, “No worries…” overtook “Somewhat,…” in the final week or so of the poll. Only a small minority seemed to worry a bit about walking downtown after dark. What would help? More police presence? Better lighting? Just more activity? Check out these crime stats I pulled together in my spare time. They don’t compare Rahway against other towns (maybe a future project), but it does have data on Rahway going back 10 years from the state’s Uniform Crime Report. Keep those poll votes coming!

P.S. We finally made it over to Luciano’s Saturday night. Check back this week for a review, (with any luck, I’ll post it Monday night).

5 thoughts on “Rahway welcomes Hollywood”

  1. Not positive but I think Ocean’s 11 and The Hurricane had some footage of the prison even though it is technically in Woodbridge like you said. Also, great job with the site. Your choice of topics create good reading, a sense of community and improvements to come, and a timeline to see how much work is being done in Rahway.

  2. That’s right. Ocean’s 11 closing scene when George Clooney leavesprison and Brad picks him up, is East Jersey State Prison. Also recognized flea market on Rahway Avenue in that footage.

  3. I like the site very informative!! Can anyone confirm the scene in “The Wrestler” filmed in the bar, Was that Butch Kowals? We just watched a clip from the movie on Cinemax and could swear it was done in Butches are we right?

  4. That totally looked like Butch’s.I counted two scenes there. In the last one, girl says to Rourke: “So what are you doing in our town of Rahway?” Can sort of see St. George’s Ave when the door opens.Also, Rourke did a scene just around the corner of Butch’s in the VFW hall or American Legion place. The one when nobody showed up to get Ram’s autograph.The neighborhood where his daughter lives looks familiar too. Maybe back around the high school.Recognized Rahway Hospital.Don’t know where Rahway’s trailer park, strip club or fight club are located or if they exist. Anyone? Rahway is really not that depressing of a place. But it can be.GREAT movie.

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