‘Joy’ Movie Spectators Flock to Downtown Haverhill

Terri’s Place, 35 Washington St., Haverhill, is temporarily “Buddy’s Place B.B.Q. Restaurant.” (WHAV photographs.)

Hollywood is known for putting out pictures, but the only cameras in downtown Haverhill Sunday were those of onlookers. Spectators didn’t see Jennifer Lawrence or Robert De Niro, but they did witness springtime Washington Street being transformed into Christmas season in downtown Dallas.

Even Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini was out taking photographs, but it was local business people who were the happiest.

“There’s definitely been a lot more foot traffic and, with all of the work down there, it’s been backing up the traffic a little bit. Yeah, it seems like a lot more people in town,” said David Miller, kitchen and assistant general manager at Barking Dog Ale House, 77 Washington St.

Issa Zefta, of Maria’s Restaurant, said foot traffic has also made its way to his business a block north.

While “Joy” is reportedly set in the 1980s and 1990s, director David O. Russell is transforming Haverhill into a place set much earlier in time. A craftsman hired by the studio was busy at work Sunday creating “Charlie’s Hardware” at 67 Washington St. Charlie’s, it seems, opened for business in 1957. Elsewhere on the street signs have been erected for “Buddy’s Place B.B.Q. Restaurant,” a liquor store and a glass and mirror shop.

WHAV was the first to report portions of the movie “Joy” would be shot in Haverhill. Traffic along Washington Street will be disrupted Tuesday.

O’Russell’s biographical comedy-drama tells the story of Joy Mangano (Lawrence), a single mother scraping by until her “Miracle Mop” invention goes on to sell 18,000 mops in 20 minutes on QVC. It’s Joy’s past, however, that brings O’Russell to Haverhill, sources told WHAV.

Besides Lawrence and De Niro, other stars reportedly include Bradley Cooper and Édgar Ramírez. Filming began last month in Boston. Crews have been previously spotted in Wilmington, North Reading, Winchester and Lynn.

One greater Boston movie studio worker took issue with Governor Charles D. Baker’s proposed elimination of film industry tax credits. The worker, who asked to remain anonymous since he is not authorized to speak, said his salary and the money being spent on downtown are a direct result of the tax credits. In his upcoming budget, Baker proposes to double the state’s earned income tax credit for poor families, using funds set aside for movie-industry tax credits.

A faux glass and mirror shop.

A faux glass and mirror shop.

4 thoughts on “‘Joy’ Movie Spectators Flock to Downtown Haverhill

  1. How much is it costing taxpayers to bring this movie to the city? There were Haverhill cops all over downtown as well as Essex County Sheriffs department personnel just sitting in vehicles waiting for something to happen. Downtown looked and felt more like Guantanamo Bay Prison than an exciting event for the city. There were movie personnel and cops everywhere telling people they couldn’t take pictures. HOW IS THAT LEGAL??? You can’t take a picture on a public street???? What charges are they going to arrest you for on that??? Movie personnel were even yelling up to residents who live in the condos on Wingate Street telling them to stop taking pictures. Why did Haverhill Police Department buy into this craziness?

    • The film crew spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to shoot in Haverhill. This cost includes the police detail. All of that money should have bought them a little cooperation from the mayor and the neighbors.