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Dispatches from ‘Boston Strangler’ set: Filming continues in the South End

A film crew pushed a vehicle up Dwight Street in Boston's South End during a shooting scene for "Boston Strangler."David L. Ryan/Globe Staff

The second day of filming for “Boston Strangler” took place in the South End on Tuesday, and was to continue there until 7 p.m. on Wednesday, according to a notice informing residents about road closures.

The upcoming 20th Century Studios film focuses on a series of murders that terrorized Boston in the early 1960s, and the reporters who pieced together the story. It stars Keira Knightley, Carrie Coon, Alessandro Nivola, and Oscar winner Chris Cooper.

“Our film is set in the early 1960s, so we will be requesting to clear all parking on Dwight Street in order to facilitate parking period appropriate vehicles for our day of filming,” the flyer said.

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Scenes were shot on Dwight Street between Tremont Street and Shawmut Avenue, according to the notice. Production would “only be taking a small portion” of the streets, the flyer said.

Over the course of the next two months, “Boston Strangler” will also be filming in Roxbury, Roslindale, Jamaica Plain, Braintree, Lynn, Lowell, and Wellesley, according to a source familiar with production.

Actors wore vintage clothing on the set of "Boston Strangler."David L. Ryan/Globe Staff
Filming took place in the South End this week. David L. Ryan/Globe Staff
Filming of “Boston Strangler” took place in the South End on Tuesday. David L. Ryan/Globe Staff

Day 1 - Belmont

The Winn Brook Elementary School in Belmont was the backdrop for the first day of shooting. The school was temporarily transformed into a police station for filming, which took place between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., according to an e-mail from Winn Brook School principal Anita Mecklenburg,

“For this movie, they are converting the facade of Winn Brook to resemble a 1960s police station,” Mecklenburg said in an email to parents. “Other than the general excitement from our brush with fame ... there will be no interruption to the learning routines.”

On Monday, several 1960s-era vehicles, including cars with “Cambridge Police” on the doors, were parked at the school and nearby, including on Statler and Waterhouse roads. A house at 47 Statler Road will be used as the home of reporter Loretta McLaughlin, played by Knightley, who first connected the clues among the series of murders while she was working at the Boston Record American.

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‘Boston Strangler’ production begins filming in Belmont
The Winn Brook Elementary School in Belmont was the backdrop for the first day of filming for “Boston Strangler,” film about a series of murders in 1960s Boston. (Video courtesy of Emily Tuohey)
Another 1960s vehicle outside the Winn Brook Elementary School in Belmont.Jason Tuohey/Globe Staff
A 1960s-era vehicle was parked near the Winn Brook Elementary School in Belmont Monday, Dec. 6, for the first day of filming on “Boston Strangler,” starring Keira Knightley, Carrie Coon, Alessandro Nivola, and Oscar winner Chris Cooper.Jason Tuohey/Globe Staff

A tent was also set up at the Winn Brook Elementary School for crews and actors to use on breaks. Steel Reel Catering, a Pittsburg and Cleveland-based television/movie catering company, will be providing meals for production through the end of February, according to owner and manager Missi Miller.

“We’ve been here since 3 a.m., and we’ll be here all day,” Miller said, adding that “it’s basically setting up and breaking down a restaurant every day.” Steel Reel was set to feed about 185 people on Monday, Miller said.

As far as celebrity sightings go, Miller said she hadn’t seen anything yet.

“We’re pretty far from the set today,” Miller said, adding that it’s different for every production they cater for. “Some stars go right through the catering line every day ... And others you might not see because someone gets their food for them. I haven’t gotten a feel for this one yet.”

Keira Knightley plays journalist Loretta McLaughlin in "Boston Strangler," a movie about infamous 1960s serial killer Albert DeSalvo (right).Mike Coppola/Getty Images; Jack O'Connell/Globe Staff

Steel Reel has catered for other films shot in Boston, including “Honest Thief” starring Liam Neeson, “The Unholy” with Jeffrey Dean Morgan, and “Jungleland” starring Charlie Hunnam, according to Miller.

“We love working here,” Miller said, adding that they’ll be working with the production through February: “Wherever they go, we’ll go.”


Brittany Bowker can be reached at brittany.bowker@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @brittbowker.