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Monday March 30th 2020

It: Chapter Two | 2019

It location: Robertson Street Bridge, Port Hope, Ontario
It: Chapter Two location: Adrian and his partner are followed onto the bridge by homophobic bullies: Robertson Street Bridge, Port Hope, Ontario
It poster


27 years on…

In effect, this is the second half of one epic film, with the Losers Club all grown up but having forgotten the events of ‘Derry, Maine’ in 1989.

The film returns to Port Hope, Ontario, revisiting many of the places seen in It so we’ll concentrate on the new locations.

The funfair of the opening scene was set up on the car park on the west side of Queen Street at Robertson Street, south of Port Hope Town Hall (aka ‘Derry Public Library’).

It location: Robertson Street Bridge, Port Hope, Ontario
It: Chapter Two location: Don witnesses the fate of his partner and the sinister appearance of hundreds of balloons: Robertson Street Bridge, Port Hope, Ontario

▶ Adrian Mellon (Xavier Dolan) and his partner are followed across Queen Street from the fair by a bunch of homophobic bullies who attack them on the Robertson Street Bridge crossing the Ganaraska River. The road bridge is in turn crossed diagonally by that elevated rail bridge over which trains clatter.

After a ferocious beating, Adrian is thrown into the river and now has the double misfortune of falling foul of Pennywise (Bill Skarsgård).

Incidentally, Adrian is played by Xavier Dolan, the writer/director of films such as Tom At The Farm and I Killed My Mother, in one of the film's several cameos. The director of Bill’s (James McAvoy) screenplay is played by Peter Bogdanovich, director of the Oscar-winning The Last Picture Show in 1972, and the owner of the second-hand store (who hates the endings of Bill’s stories) is a famous writer, apparently.

Realising that ‘it’ has returned, Mike (Isaiah Mustafa), the only member of the Losers Club to remain in ‘Derry’, calls on the others to honour their promise and return.

It: Chapter Two film location: Elgin Theatre, Yonge Street, Toronto
It: Chapter Two location: Richie freezes during his stand-up act: Elgin Theatre, Yonge Street, Toronto | Photograph: wikimedia / Anton Bielousov

▶ Compulsively wisecracking Richie Tozier (Bill Hader) has found his niche and is now performing a stand-up act at the Elgin Theatre, 189 Yonge Street at Queen Street East in Toronto itself.

The Elgin was built in the early 20th Century as Loew's Yonge Street Theatre. Seven stories above the Elgin is the Winter Garden Theatre and, together, they make up the world's last-remaining Edwardian 'stacked' theatres.

In 1928, was adapted to accommodate that great new invention, talking pictures but, like so many cinemas in the Sixties and Seventies, the Elgin was reduced to surviving by showing soft-core movies until in the late Eighties, when both theatres were fully restored and reopened.
 
The Elgin previously supplied the interior of the ‘Chicago Theater’ for Rob Marshall’s 2002 film of the musical Chicago, as well as the cinema above which Sally Hawkins lives in Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water.

▶ From the outside, I assumed the ‘Jade of the Orient’ restaurant, in which the adult Losers meet up, was an anonymous warehouse building tricked out with neon dressing but its site, opposite a branch of Master Mechanic, reveals it as actual Chinese restaurant, the Mandarin Restaurant, 87 Matheson Boulevard East in Mississauga, a city about ten miles west of Toronto which is also home to Pearson Airport.

It location: Hotel Carlyle & Bistro, John Street, Port Hope, Ontario
It: Chapter Two location: the grown-up Losers stay at the 'Derry Town House': Hotel Carlyle & Bistro, John Street, Port Hope, Ontario

▶ Back to Port Hope. Initially reluctant to stay in 'Derry', events persuade the friends to remain. The ‘Derry Town House’, in which they stay, is the Hotel Carlyle and Bistro, 86 John Street, an historic building built in 1857 as a branch of The Bank of Upper Canada. Find it off Augusta Street, behind Memorial Park in Port Hope.

It location: Scottish Rite Club, Queen Street, Hamilton, Ontario
It: Chapter Two location: the interior of the 'Derry Town House': Scottish Rite Club, Queen Street, Hamilton, Ontario

▶ Well, it is on the outside. The beautiful interior, all carved wood and stained-glass windows, is that of the Scottish Rite Club, 4 Queen Street in Hamilton, a city about 40 miles southwest of Toronto at the western tip of Lake Ontario.

It location: Scottish Rite Club, Queen Street, Hamilton, Ontario
It: Chapter Two location: the interior of the 'Derry Town House': Scottish Rite Club, Queen Street, Hamilton, Ontario

Owned by the Scottish Rite Masons, the Club is not generally open to the public but you can hire it for weddings and events. The building’s interior has also featured in Guillermo del Toro’s gloriously Gothic horror Crimson Peak.

▶ Also away from Port Hope, the ballpark where the little girl from the funfair comes face to face with Pennywise, is the Ajax Pan Am Ballpark in Audley Park, Ajax, about 40 miles west of Port Hope toward Toronto.

It location: Capitol Theatre, Queen Street, Port Hope, Ontario
It: Chapter Two location: the older Richie revisits the old cinema lobby: Capitol Theatre, Queen Street, Port Hope, Ontario

▶ In Port Hope again, the older Richie revisits the lobby of the closed and abandoned old cinema, where he suffers a disturbing flashback to a confrontation with the thuggish Henry Bowers (Nicholas Hamilton). This is the Capitol Theatre, 20 Queen Street, again and, no, it's certainly not shuttered.

It location: Capitol Theatre, Queen Street, Port Hope, Ontario
It: Chapter Two location: Richie has a confrontation with the thuggish Henry Bowers: Capitol Theatre, Queen Street, Port Hope, Ontario

The cinema did close in the Eighties, but a determined local campaign saw it restored and reopened in 2005 as the Cameco Capitol Arts Centre, now showing films and hosting live events.

It location: Memorial Park Bandshell, Queen Street, Port Hope, Ontario
It: Chapter Two location: Pennywise taunts Richie about his "dirty little secret": Memorial Park Bandshell, Queen Street, Port Hope, Ontario

▶ The memory prompts Richie to face his "little secret" which is soon exploited by Pennywise as the giant statue of Paul Bunyan comes to life and attacks him in front of the Bandshell in Port Hope's Memorial Park, just south of the Capitol Theatre. You won't find that statue, which was built just for the film and dismantled afterwards.

It location: Memorial Park, Queen Street, Port Hope, Ontario
It: Chapter Two location: the statue of John Bunyan comes to life: Memorial Park, Queen Street, Port Hope, Ontario

By the way, the red brick building behind the statue is Port Hope's real Public Library. The 'library' seen in the film is really the Town Hall.

It location: Joie de Vivre, Walton Street, Ontario
It: Chapter Two location: Bill buys back his bike from 'Second Hand Rose': Joie de Vivre, Walton Street, Ontario

▶ Finally, ‘Second Hand Rose’, the junk store where Bill buys back Silver, his trusty old bike from the canny owner (Stephen King himself) is Joie de Vivre, 45 Walton Street, Port Hope, just across from the alleyway with the mural. Much smarter than it appears in the film (obviously!), the shop sells aromatherapy and bodycare products.