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'Mildred Pierce' shoot a boon for some Merrick residents

The set of

The set of "Mildred Pierce," a new HBO miniseries, is seen on Henry Street in Merrick. (June 7, 2010) Credit: Howard Schnapp

Some residents of Henry Street in Merrick are getting home makeovers, thanks to HBO.

The cable network's new miniseries "Mildred Pierce" is being filmed this week on the block, which is in the neighborhood known as The Gables. The Mediterranean-style houses were built in the 1920s and ’30s as an East Coast haven for Hollywood stars.

New tile roofs were installed at some of the houses in the shoot. HBO also provided new landscaping. And some homeowners are receiving a fee.

"On a period film where you are shooting on location, it is not uncommon for location agreements to include a location site fee and cosmetic changes that are necessary to convey the period in question," says an HBO spokeswoman. "In this case, the transformation of Merrick into Glendale, Calif., in the late '20s [and] early '30s included landscaping, roofing, lamp posts and old-fashioned cars. The production did not do any interior renovations which were permanent, just set decoration."

Street signs have been temporarily changed to “Pierce Street," residents say.

The five-hour miniseries stars Oscar-winning actress Kate Winslet, Guy Pearce and Evan Rachel Wood. The story of a single mother trying to earn her spoiled daughter's love during the Great Depression is scheduled to air next year.

The owners of houses where indoor filming is taking place have been given the option to be put up in a hotel while the cast and crew are  working  there, say residents.

“It upsets your life a little, but it’s not the worst thing in the world,” says Jay Goldstein, whose house is in the shoot.

Goldstein says the crew has been “very professional and very accommodating.”

Charles Rosenblum, another resident of the block, says he is organizing the annual block party for the street -- and that HBO will be covering the expenses.


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