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Stephen King's IT: A homegrown horror hit in Port Hope

By PETE FISHER, Northumberland Today

A packed house at the Capitol theatre on Monday, September 11, 2017 as a packed house watched the IT movie by Andy Muschietti, which is based on the Stephen King novel in Port Hope, Ont.  It was a special showing of the movie that was largely filmed in Port Hope last summer. VIP tickets were given away by Queenie's Bake Shop owner Adam Pearson on Friday at an outdoor event in celebration of the movie's release. Pete Fisher/Northumberland Today/Postmedia Network

A packed house at the Capitol theatre on Monday, September 11, 2017 as a packed house watched the IT movie by Andy Muschietti, which is based on the Stephen King novel in Port Hope, Ont. It was a special showing of the movie that was largely filmed in Port Hope last summer. VIP tickets were given away by Queenie's Bake Shop owner Adam Pearson on Friday at an outdoor event in celebration of the movie's release. Pete Fisher/Northumberland Today/Postmedia Network

PORT HOPE - IT was a packed house at the Capitol Theatre on Monday evening for a special screening of the immensely popular horror flick based on the Stephen King novel and shot in Port Hope and area.

A VIP screening was put on by Queenies Bake Shop owner Adam Pearson in a special It event on Friday.

The movie It, from director Andy Muschietti, has been setting records since it opened on Friday.

By Sunday it raked in a whopping $123.4 million breaking box office records for both September film releases and horror releases. The cost of making the movie was $35 million.

The film, set in the late 1980s, is about seven young outcasts facing an ancient, shape-shifting evil clown that comes around every 27 years in the small community of Derry, Maine.

Last summer It was filmed throughout Port Hope and the town is showcased throughout the film including aerial shots of the downtown and Ganaraska River along with street-level views of the town, buildings, homes and alleyways.

The Capitol Theatre's marquee featured titles of movies from the period, including Batman and Lethal Weapon.

Prior to the showing of the movie, Stephen King spoke to the audience about the movie in a recorded interview.

"My novel it is one of my favourite and most personal works. I'm thrilled it's made its way to the big screen and I'm even happier to tell you I was blown away by the vision of director Andy Muschietti and the stellar work of the young cast."

Muschietti and his sister Barbara who is a producer on the film gave a personal shout out to the town of Port Hope.

"Hello Port Hope," said Barbara to cheers from the audience.

"Hopefully now you're all sitting on your chairs reunited to watch this movie," said her brother.

Muschietti said without the town's support and love he couldn't have done the film together with his sister.

"We want (to give) a special thanks to everyone in Port Hope for welcoming us, for really being participants in the process and in particular hello to Mayor Bob Sanderson. Thank you for everything you guys did. We're so proud of this film - we hope to enjoy it and we hope to see you soon - very soon," said his sister giving speculation they may be back to Port Hope.

The video message ended with her brother saying "enjoy It."

Sarah Orr, a huge It fan, said after the show "It was everything and more."

Watching the previous film of It, she said "because of today's advances with cinematography and the brilliance of Andy Muschietti, I think it just brought to life It in such a creative, terrifying and interesting, different way then the original movie."

Last summer Orr got a chance to meet the director cinematographer Chung-Hoon Chung who gave her a special treat and showed her a sneak peak at Pennywise (the demon clown).

"They were both amazing and so friendly and I hope they come back to Port Hope again."

The movie adapts the first half of King's book, with a sequel, following the characters as adults 27 years later, expected to go into production next year.

pfisher@postmedia.com

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