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Madonna Brings A Touch Of Hollywood Glamor To Union City

January 10, 1988

UNION CITY, N.J. (AP) _ On a snowy street corner in this predominately Hispanic, working-class city, there’s a touch of Hollywood glamor, a very small touch.

″I saw Madonna’s hair just for a second,″ said Mariana Guerre, who works in a diner in a building where the rock star and actor Matt Dillon are filming a movie called ″Bloodhounds of Broadway.″

Except for a couple of rented trucks full of wires, lights and other movie gear, and a pair of shivering cops directing light traffic, no one would get much of a clue that a movie is being made here.

Temperatures have been below freezing during most of the filming over the last four weeks, keeping away even the most die-hard Madonna fans and the hardiest photographers.

The stars zip in and out a side door of the Knights of Columbus’ dance hall, where the movie is being shot on a closed set.

A photographer from the New York Post hung around for a couple of days, even bringing a ladder to get a shot through the upstairs windows. But the windows were covered and the photographer finally left.

Madonna and Dillon once popped in at the Merengue Luncheonette for a cup of cappuccino and a plate of rice and beans, said owner Christian Santana.

″That’s the only time they’ve come in,″ said Santana. ″We mostly serve the crew. They’re great. They’re almost like family. We’re sure going to miss them when they leave.″

The film, based on a series of short stories by journalist Damon Runyon, is being produced for American Playhouse, the critically acclaimed PBS television dramatic series.

Producers trying to capture the feel of 1928 New York City turned to locations in New Jersey, including the Union City building, a house in Montclair and sites in West New York and Newark, said Lore Lawrence of the film’s publicity firm.

Madonna, after two flops - ″Who’s That Girl?″ and ″Shanghai Surprise″ - is working for union scale of about $380 a day playing a showgirl, Ms. Lawrence said.

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