July 27, 2016 By Michael Florio
Three amateur filmmakers have set out to showcase local, longstanding businesses.
The filmmakers, all from Astoria, are putting together a series of documentaries featuring stores that have survived over the years despite the neighborhood’s rapid change.
The filmmakers, James Ogle, Kevin Provost, and Dan Connell, have completed their first documentary that focuses on Broadway Silk Store, located at 35-11 Broadway.
They are currently working on second project that features Modern Barber Shop, a 90-year-old business located at 30-14 Broadway.
“We have lived in the neighborhood for many years and have watched it change,” Ogle said. “It is important for people to be aware of the history and these businesses.”
They viewed the Broadway Silk Shop as a good place to start, since the store has been run by the same family from the time it opened in the 1930’s.
Esther and Ellie Laxer opened it and passed it down to their niece Pearl Gould. The store is now managed by Gould’s daughter Sarah-Beth White.
It took them about a day to film the shop and to interview the owners. The editing took them about two weeks, Ogle said.
The documentary is available online.
The three men are independent contractors who met doing TV production work for shows on the Food Network. They decided to do a local project.
They do not receive money for doing these projects, Ogle said.
Their current documentary on the Modern Barber Shop happens to be where Ogle gets his hair cut.
The Barber Shop recently celebrated its 90th anniversary. The shop has only had three owners throughout that time, according to Ogle.
Ogle hopes to continue making these documentaries, but they do not have anything scheduled as of now.
“We are absolutely interested in profiling more businesses,” he said.