The pieces fell into place for an upscale Long Island pawnshop last week when the upcoming Netflix series "Jigsaw" shot part of an episode there.
"They came in Tuesday [Jan. 25], then they filmed all day Wednesday," says Anthony Cutrone of Northport, co-owner of Gold Coast Jewelry & Pawn in Dix Hills, "and on Thursday came back and dismantled their props and things." The production's equipment and vehicles filled the parking lot the store shares with the Dix Hills Diner, which the show also secured for the shooting day, he says. "They had food trucks, they had lighting, they had trailers for the actors and actresses."
Announced in September, the eight-episode "Jigsaw" envisions a major heist loosely based on rumors that when the Wall Street firm DTTC had to physically restore some 1.7 million waterlogged documents from its vault after Superstorm Sandy, $70 billion in cash-like bearer bonds purportedly went missing. Starring Giancarlo Esposito, Paz Vega, Rufus Sewell and others, the show spans 25 years of a heist and its aftermath. Produced by Ridley Scott's Scott Free Productions and Automatik Entertainment, it shoots primarily at Netflix's Bushwick, Brooklyn, studios.
The store was given a different name on the show and decorated to look like a pawnshop on a Carolina coast, says Cutrone, 61. "They put a couple of surfboards up to make it look a little bit indicative of that area, but that's the only thing they really did to change anything."
The former longtime owner of a printing business, who partnered with Shmit Yaubov to open the shop about 13 years ago, Cutrone believes that, "Hollywood has always portrayed pawnshops as places thieves would go" — adding, with a chuckle, "like this program does." The stereotyped "guy behind the counter is always kind of a little crooked. But I'm in a suit and tie every day," he says. "But we’re basically a financial institution — we abide by so many rules that govern this industry. People don't know that until they come in and they see what a beautiful store it is and how they're treated. So I thought it would be a good thing for us as well as the industry if people could see the inside."
Still, he says, the pawnbroker portrayed in the scene shot there "kind of went a little bit against what I just expressed to you." At the second of two location-scout meetings, "They asked if I was interested and I said, 'Yes, as long as you do not depict the pawnbroker in that light.' And they said, 'No, no, we won't.' And they didn't, exactly, but they didn't exactly portray what we are. They went somewhere in the middle, but a little bit towards the low end."
Gold Coast Jewelry & Pawn previously served as a locale, Cutrone says, for the ABC hidden-camera show "What Would You Do?," hosted by John Quiñones.