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PRESS RELEASE

June 21, 2002

 

STRONG COFFEE, GREASY SPOONS,
AND AMERICA’S LEFTOVERS...
HISTORIC TASTEE DINER FEATURED IN 35MM INDEPENDENT FILM
COMING JUNE 25th TO VISIONS CINEMA
 

One of three local landmark diners owned and operated by Gene Wilkes, the Tastee Diner in Laurel, Maryland, is making its big screen debut at Visions Cinema Bistro Lounge on Tuesday, June 25 at 6:50 p.m., with happy hour starting at 6 p.m. and a Q & A with the filmmakers following the screening. "The Least of These," a 35mm motion picture short in which the Tastee Diner serves as principal location, will be playing along with a selection of other short film projects made by local filmmakers. All the films are part of the monthly spotlight on independent film and video known as STUDIO 650@VISIONS.

The Tastee Diner in Laurel (Comac 1951) was chosen as a location for "The Least of These" after an extensive and savory scout of nearly 20 diners over a 100 mile stretch through Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC. However, finding the right diner was just the beginning. Always loyal to his customers, Gene Wilkes refused any and all cash offers—as well as other forms of bribery—to close down his establishment for film production. However, after numerous requests, he finally agreed to allow the filmmakers to section off a large portion of the diner, while the rest remained open for business. The results are magical.

"The Least of These," based on a true story, patiently unfolds how the fading, isolated life of a diner owner and the dull routine of his late night crowd are forever changed by the unusual proposition of a stranger. The film was the joint venture of two local companies, Old Fashioned Pictures and Infinity Film & Video, and was produced by Ed Baxter and written, produced, and directed by Rik Swartzwelder. For a complete list of credits or more information on "The Least of These" and Old Fashioned Pictures’ upcoming feature film project, please visit their website: www.oldfashionedpictures.com.

For more information on STUDIO 650@VISIONS or Visions Cinema Bistro Lounge, please visit their website: www.visionsdc.com. Admission for STUDIO650@VISIONS is $6.50. Visions is located at 1927 Florida Ave. NW in Washington, DC. 202/232-5689.

Contact: "The Least of These"/Rik Swartzwelder/301-452-3213
STUDIO 650@VISIONS/Katri Billard/202-298-0457
Tastee Diner—Laurel/Helen Finnelle/301-953-8171

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