"Love Ranch" Brings Love to Reno

By: Auburn Hutton Email
By: Auburn Hutton Email

Traveling back in time...thirty years. That was the case Tuesday for much of Reno's downtown district.

Filming of the 1970's era movie, "Love Ranch," continued in downtown Reno. While the film brought with it some big-name stars, including Joe Pesci and Academy Award winner Helen Mirren, film commissioners say it may also leave something behind...money.

They plan on filming tonight until midnight, and wrapping up the Reno scenes sometime tomorrow. The film is loosely based on Joe and Sally Conforte, the Nevada couple who opened a well-known brothel, "The Mustang Ranch."

It will take over 100 crew members to film around ten scenes from the movie, "Love Ranch." Every car and every person in the film will reflect the era of the 1970's. Even the marquis had to match the decade.

"I am a pedestrian today and they gave me this upscale outfit, a leisure suit for the day. So I guess I am a high roller," said Reno extra, Bruce Klimoski.

"I am a period car driver. I have a 1976 International Harvester and I am a cowboy!" said another local film extra, Dan Galbreath.

And many of the props and extras in the film are made possible by the people and businesses of our local community. The Nevada Film Commissioner says "Love Ranch" could bring in nearly $100,000 a day to our local economy...and that's just an estimate.

"The crew buys things. Maybe the weather gets bad and they end up buying jackets. The locals working on the film, this goes to their income, and is part of property tax. So the dollar gets spent many times," said Robin Holabird, Deputy Director of the Nevada Film Office.

Holabird says director Taylor Hackford is dedicated to authenticity, which is why he chose to film the Nevada-based movie in Reno. The hope is, his film ends up looking like it actually took place in the 1970's...and along the way, our economy will reap the benefits.

"I've told them they can use our horses in any movie they like. Friesian horses are what we raise, breed, sell and train. We have some of our quarter horses in the movie today, so we're very excited," said Horse Trainer Sherry Reed of Gardnerville.

And after some long days of filming, the crew's gotta eat...bringing in some much needed business for local workers hoping to score a little extra cash.

"It's just been slow you know. We're coming up on some slow times, but if we could get a lot of films in the area, it would really help," said local food server and union member, Steve Gale.

The last big movie that was filmed in our area was at Lake Tahoe. It was "Smokin' Aces" starring Ben Affleck. The film commissioner says we usually get about one big movie in our area each year...mixed among some smaller scenes or TV shows. The low interest in filming in Nevada mostly has to do with our state's lack of film incentives for movie makers.


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