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'House of Cards' films in Bel Air Tuesday, Edgewood next week

Restaurant and Catering IndustryHouse of Cards (tv program)Emmy AwardsNetflix Inc.Robin Wright

Expect plenty of sightings of the crew, and maybe even cast members, from the Emmy-nominated Netflix show "House of Cards" around Harford County the rest of this month.

The show was filming at the Liriodendron Mansion in Bel Air and elsewhere in west Bel Air on Tuesday afternoon, where filming also took place Monday night, according to Town of Bel Air Economic Development Director Trish Heidenreich.

More filming is expected early next week in the Edgewood area, Eileen Frado, senior business development associate with the Harford County Office of Economic Development, said Tuesday.

"It will be an outside shot on a road, although I am not at liberty to say where that is," Frado said.

Frado, whose office is working with the production company, said they are looking for other locations in Harford to shoot scenes for the second season of the Capitol Hill political drama that stars Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright. Both are nominated for acting Emmys for the show's first season last year.

"They had expressed to me, and I have certainly seen it myself, where they are filming as much as they can in Harford County close to their set in Joppa," Frado said.

Heidenreich, meanwhile, had brought up the Liriodendron filming during the Bel Air Board of Town Commissioners meeting Monday night.

"We are hoping this is just the beginning of something wonderful for the town," Heidenreich said Monday.

Casting calls for "House of Cards" have been held Bel Air Record Armory this year and last, and many of the show's interior shots have been filmed on a sound stage inside a building in the Joppa area, where the production is based. The production company also has an office in Edgewood, according to Frado. The locations of both have been closely guarded secrets since the production set up shop in the county.

Some outdoor scenes for the first season were filmed in and around the Havre de Grace, which doubled as Kevin Spacey's character's hometown in South Carolina.

Heidenreich noted the film crew takes advantages of Bel Air restaurants and shops, helping out the town economically.

Bel Air Mayor Edward Hopkins agreed.

"They have already got all their stuff set up at Liriodendron," he said, adding it is good that Bel Air can get some national exposure.

Mario Buontempo, co-owner of the Main Street Tower in downtown Bel Air, said the first level of the restaurant and lounge, including the banquet room and dining room, was being used Tuesday by the cast and crew for meals, dressing rooms and to hold meetings.

"It is quite a bit of people there from Hollywood," Buontempo said.

Buontempo, who estimated about 180 people from the production were using his establishment, said the Tower has remained open for regular business.

He said "a lot of famous movie stars" had been in the Tower, but he could not reveal who they were, in accordance with an agreement he has with the production company.

"I did see a lot of movie stars in the main dining room today," he said. "[They're] very impressive; they say, 'Hi,' nice people."

Buontempo also thanked Bel Air Police Chief Leo Matrangola for coordinating parking with the production so it did not affect business at the Tower.

Production vehicles could be seen in the town-operated lots behind the Tower.

Scenes were also being filmed Tuesday at the Forwood House, a nearly 125-year-old Queen Anne's-style house at the intersection of Williams and Catherine streets.

Around 2 p.m. a couple of stretch limos with the presidential seal were parked in front of the house, as was a faux Virginia State Police cruiser.

Angela Revie, a Realtor with Keller Williams Realty of Bel Air, is working to sell the three-story, five-bedroom house, which had been subdivided into apartments until her brothers, Joe, Andy and Johnny Manzari III, made extensive renovations and converted it back into a single-family home.

"They wanted to keep the character and the charm of the Queen Anne's-style home," she said.

Revie's father, John Manzari Jr., designed a new stained-glass transom for the door as well.

Revie said the recently-renovated dwelling was spotted by a "House of Cards" location scout, and exterior and interior scenes were scheduled to be filmed on the property Tuesday.

"That's what makes Bel Air so desirable," she said of the historic homes. "I grew up in Bel Air, I would never want to leave; I just think it's a really neat town to be in and I think this will just showcase that."

Frado said the county does not have an estimate of how much economic activity "House of Cards" is generating locally, as those numbers have only been tallied statewide by the Maryland Film Office.

"Overall, it's been huge because I know they have hired tradespeople here out of the county. These are people who have business here in the county," Frado said.

The cast particularly enjoyed the Wegmans store in Abingdon, she noted.

A glimpse of Kevin Spacey at Buontempo's or Harford Mall might still be a pipe dream, though.

"You are not going to see him too far from the set," Frado surmised.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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Restaurant and Catering IndustryHouse of Cards (tv program)Emmy AwardsNetflix Inc.Robin Wright
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