Hollywood In Malden: Three New TV Shows, Movies Film In City – Patch

MALDEN, MA — Hollywood has come to Malden again in recent weeks, with a trio of TV and film projects all recently setting up shop in town, city officials confirmed on Friday.

The latest in a line of filming activity in Malden over the years, these projects represent only part of a burgeoning interest among producers and location scouts in the region, city Business Development Officer Kevin Duffy told Patch.
“We get scouted a lot, but we don’t always get the gig,” he said. “The more swings you get though, the more home runs you can hit.”
The TV show “Invitation to a Bonfire” filmed in Malden on Oct. 21 at the Malden Public Library, according to Duffy. The show is an adaptation of a novel by the same name, following the story of a young Russian refugee in the 1930s adapting to life in a New Jersey boarding school.
“The Shade,” a movie, brought film crews to the Visible Ink tattoo shop on Broadway just a week after “Invitation to a Bonfire’s” filming on Oct. 28, Duffy said.
“Art Thief,” a movie focused on the 1990 Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum robbery, is currently filming at the now vacant Malden District Courthouse.
“Malden once again has become a hotbed of Hollywood activity,” Malden Mayor Gary Christenson said last week.
These latest local productions follow at least 13 other filming projects in Malden over the last decade, according to city officials, with past films including American Hustle, Ted2 and the Oscar-winning Sound of Metal all shooting at least some of their scenes locally.
The three projects in recent weeks have made 2022 a record-setting year for Malden. Four projects have now filmed in town this year after an upcoming film about the Boston Strangler previously moved through Malden earlier in 2022.
The previous high-water mark for local Hollywood activity over the past decade came in 2016, with three projects that year.
Christenson credited recent interest in Malden to a variety of quality filming locations within city limits.
“While Malden’s diversity of its people is its strength, this time it is our diversity of architecture that allows us to accommodate these productions,” he said.
Beyond projects that actually come to fruition in Malden, the city has been in the running for still other projects, according to Duffy.
Duffy said Malden was almost selected as a location for “Thug.” The film, which stars Liam Neeson, is shooting in multiple spots around Greater Boston this month, according to Boston.com.
Scouts also considered Malden as a filming location for “Spirited,” an Apple TV film starring Will Ferrell, Ryan Reynolds and Octavia Spencer, Duffy said.
Filming activity has ramped up across the country in recent months following initial lockdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic.

READ: Production Crews On Site In Wakefield For HBO Filming
Massachusetts has additionally long incentivized projects to film within state lines via a tax credit dating back to 2006.
Supporters of the credit argue it has helped establish Massachusetts as a production destination in recent years. More local filming activity, supporters say, has led to more jobs and other economic benefits.
In Malden, Christenson said local projects provide a dual benefit, bringing Hollywood glitz and glamor to the local community while offering money to local businesses in exchange for their participation.
A state report by the Massachusetts Tax Expenditure Review Commission in 2021 said film tax credits did bring in just over $503 million in total new spending in the Massachusetts economy between 2006 and 2016.
The report argued that gains still didn’t justify the costs of the tax credit, though, estimating a cost of $100,000 for each new job created in Massachusetts.
The state legislature ultimately opted to extend the tax credit despite concerns from the expenditure review commission last year, as reported by Boston.com.
The new version of the tax credit under the legislature’s deal offers a 25% production credit, a 25% payroll credit and a sales tax exemption to film and TV projects.
Projects must spend $50,000 in Massachusetts to qualify for the payroll credit. Projects must then spend either 75% of their budget or 75% of their principal photography days in Massachusetts to qualify for the production credit and the sales tax exemption.
At the local level, projects are continuing to come to Malden.
This latest round of activity is also ongoing, in the meantime, with filming of Art Thief set to continue around Malden in the coming weeks, according to Duffy.

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