NEW BRITAIN-The New Britain toy store that served as the main back-drop for the Lifetime Christmas movie, “A Very Merry Toy Store,” will host a premiere party on Sunday, Nov. 26.
Sheri and Steve Amato, owners of Amato’s Toy and Hobby, are inviting New Britain residents to join them at 456 East St. to watch the premiere of the movie previously known as “Christmas Hours.”
Beginning at 6 p.m. free popcorn and a special label Avery’s Soda will be given out while supplies last. Food trucks Nora Cupcake and The Whey Station will be on site. Guests can also BYOB, but limit to beer and wine only.
Aside from the Amato’s many local celebrities will also be joining them for the evening including on-air radio personality Stevey Newnez from Hot 93.7.
Tickets to attend are $10 per person. All proceeds will go to the Salvation Army Toy Drive and Amato’s will match the ticket proceeds and provide toys for the children of New Britain. Guests are also encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item for the local food pantry.
“A Very Merry Toy Store” is about Connie Forrester (Melissa Joan Hart), a young single mom, and Will DiNova (Mario Lopez) who each run a small, family-owned toy store in Connecticut. The two, along with their families, have been business rivals for years until a big box store, Roy’s Toys, opens right before Christmas. In order to save their businesses, Connie and Will team up to save their stores, and in the process, might just find love.
Amato’s Toy and Hobby at 283 Main St. served as the main location for the movie, the interior was remodeled as two separate toy stores - Hart’s and Lopez’s.
Steve Amato told The Herald his shop was selected after a chance meeting with Andrew Gernhard, a producer with Synthetic Cinema, the Rocky Hill production company working on the film, months ago at West Side Tavern while out to dinner with his wife.
When Gernhard heard he would need a toy store for an upcoming movie, he immediately contacted Amato. Soon after, the whole production crew fell in love with New Britain.
Central Connecticut State University’s television studio was used in the filming process for its floor-to-ceiling green screen. Other locations featured in the film included City Hall, Miss Washington Diner, Vic’s Auto Body Shop and the West End home of Gaffney Elementary School’s principal, Anita Fazio.
The parking lot off of Court Street was used to host a Christmas festival in the movie, and featured Alvarium Beer Co. and members of the Little Poland community.
The Bristol Public Library and the former Barley Vine gastro pub and The Shaffer Co. on Main Street in Bristol were also used as sets.
“A Very Merry Toy Store” will debut at 8 p.m. (EST) on Sunday, Nov. 26 on the Lifetime channel.
To purchase tickets visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/a-very-merry-toy-store-premiere-party-tickets-39929707831?utm-medium=discovery&utm-campaign=social&utm-content=attendeeshare&aff=esfb&utm-source=fb&utm-term=listing
For more information contact Amato’s Toy and Hobby at 860-229-9069
Angie DeRosa can be reached at 860-801-5063 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @ADeRosaNBH