John Metcalfe was CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, covering climate change and the science of cities.
The 2010 bank-robbery flick finally gets the recognition it deserves with Boston's newest street corner, "The Town Take 2 Place."
Boston has temporarily renamed one of its street corners to honor a special edition of the Ben Affleck-directed heist flick, The Town.
You read that right: Boston, a major metropolitan city, altered its streetscape to reflect the fact that “The Town Take 2” – an extended cut featuring a darker ending and a “beefier romance” between bank robber Affleck and kidnapped bank manager Rebecca Hall – will be released on Blu-ray and DVD on March 6 as part of The Town: Ultimate Collector's Edition.
The corner's new name: “The Town Take 2 Place.” Does Affleck own this town, or what?
Image courtesy Ken Murray
The corner received its new moniker in a “small ceremony” on Monday attended by Boston councilor Salvatore LaMattina, actor Titus Welliver and Warner Bros. executive Jeff Baker. Affleck was not present, apparently consumed by birth-watch duty with wife Jennifer Garner.
“The Town Take 2 Place” marked the way for travelers for two whole days outside an AMC movie theater showing “The Town.” Then the name expired, allowing the corner to reclaim its old title as simply the place where Avery and Tremont streets meet.
In a small but historically significant way, this spit of Boston asphalt will now be indelibly linked to a movie perhaps best remembered for bank robbers who wear melty nun masks and a rose-loving gangster called "Fergie."
Oh, and for Jeremy Renner, whose supporting role snagged an Oscar nomination. That guy's pretty good.
Janet Knott, chief of staff for LaMattina, says that Warner Bros. approached the councilor because his district includes the blue-collar neighborhood of Charlestown, where many of the film's scenes were shot. In fact, the film's advertising material plays direct tribute to Charlestown with this honorific: “Welcome to the bank robbery capital of America.”
“Sometimes this happens throughout the city with other councilors and other movie stars,” says Knott, adding that this is the first such temporary renaming of a Boston street that she can think of.
So, was LaMattina compelled to attend because he's a raging Ben Affleck fan?
“I'll have to ask him,” she says. “We have not had that conversation yet.”