One of the biggest feats of "movie magic" pulled off by the film crew in town for "The Ring II" was transforming one local business into another, much to the confusion of some residents.
The building housing Pacific Coast Medical Supply at 1210 Marine Drive was chosen to stand in for the main character's employer, The Daily Astorian, because filmmakers wanted a location closer to the water than the newspaper's real office at 949 Exchange St.
They faithfully copied the paper's main title graphics in two illuminated signs they hung on the outside of the building June 16, and fabricated a mock customer counter for the interior, complete with a facade wall decorated with framed front pages of past issues.
The illusion was so complete that people started coming through Pacific Coast Medical Supply's doors to buy newspapers, place ads, pay their subscriptions and complain that their paper hadn't been delivered, said owner Norman Stutznegger.
One gentleman came in to let the staff know that their single-copy boxes out front were not locked down, and he was concerned they'd get stolen. "We've had confused people in here at least twice a day," Stutznegger said.
Once the signs went up, rumors started flying. Stutznegger's staff has been busy answering calls from people wondering where Pacific Coast Medical Supply has moved - including one from Columbia Memorial Hospital. Some asked if Stutznegger had bought The Daily Astorian. One caller even wanted to know if it was true that the two businesses had arranged a land swap.
"It's funny ... I've been enjoying it," said Stutznegger good-naturedly. He said the movie people have been "fabulous," doing anything they asked and willingly making accommodations for the medical supply's customers, many of whom have disabilities. He estimated the temporary makeover hadn't cost him any business, and said the movie studio was generous in its compensation for the inconvenience.