Above: Inside the CVS on Main Street Wednesday, Oct. 18.
A curious collection of large containers popped up in the parking lot in front of 507 Main Street earlier this month. Our nose for news was piqued – was one of the businesses in the plaza leaving? Was some other business renting parking lot space? Was this the start of an alien invasion?
Nope, nope and nope.
Rather, CVS, the largest tenant of the plaza, is remodeling. The retail pharmacy will remain open through the renovation, but as you can see in this picture, at present it’s topsy turvy inside. According to CVS, it’s an entire reno, in line with their desire to makeover their stores into wellness hubs. The Main Street store will NOT have a clinic, like the store on Route 2 just south of Division Street. But it will have a different feel.
For one, the checkout area is moving to the middle of the floor. And the layout will be cleaner, with no more “endcap” displays eating into aisle space. The renovation is expected to take a few weeks.
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And, from Verdi Productions …
With Hollywood strikes nearing an end, Chad A. Verdi (The Irishman, Bleed for This) and his East Greenwich-based production company Verdi Productions plan to release three films in 2024 that had been on hold during the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes (the WGA strike has ended).
The first movie up is Junction, starring Bryan Greenberg, Ashley Madekwe, Griffin Dunne, Sophia Bush, Jamie Chung, Ryan Eggold, Dascha Polanco and Josh Peck. Written and directed by Greenberg, “Junction” addresses the modern-day opioid crisis in America, and asks how did this happen from three different points of view: the CEO of a pharmaceutical company, a doctor, and a patient.
Next on the release slate is “Knockout Blonde” for Spring 2024.The documentary is about transgender boxing promoter Kellie Maloney, the former manager of Lennox Lewis. The Verdi Productions and Art Factory Films production charts the journey of Maloney and her struggles working in the world of boxing as a woman trapped in a man’s body. For years Kellie struggled to conceal her gender conflict as she became one of the sport’s most successful boxing promoters, managing Lennox Lewis as he rose to become the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world
Chosen Family is planned for a late 2024 release, starring Heather Graham, Julia Stiles, Thomas Lennon, Andrea Savage, John Brotherton and Michael Gross. Written and directed by Graham, Chosen Family sees Heather play Ann, a yoga teacher trying to find inner peace despite the facts, her family is manic and her dating life is miserable. Ann doesn’t know how to say no and finds herself fixing everyone’s problems. Struggling to repair her estranged relationship with her sister Clio (Julia Stiles), Ann relies on her friends to be her rock and guide her through life’s troubling decisions.
On the production side of things, Verdi Productions plans to produce four films starting in March 2024, with shooting to take place in Rhode Island, Italy, Monaco and Thailand. Out of the respect for the guild members on strike, no further details will be released until both strikes end. Chad A. Verdi stated, “Workers in the film industry are getting financially destroyed by these strikes, whether it’s actors, writers, directors or crew. Most of these individuals were already working multiple jobs to get by. This widespread production shutdown didn’t hurt the top 1 percent in the industry but ruined many people who work week-to-week and paycheck-to-paycheck. It’s very unfortunate to see. Let’s get our union members a fair deal so that everyone can get back to doing what they love.”
He added, “My advice to SAG and WGA – get ready to staff up your offices, because productions are coming back in droves once this is all over, and we need your help speeding up the application processes so that we can get your members back to work quickly.”
Verdi Productions’ recently released films include Savage Salvation, starring Robert DeNiro, John Malkovich and Jack Huston; Johnny & Clyde, starring Megan Fox, Tyson Ritter, Avan Jogia and Ajani Russell; Space Oddity starring Kevin Bacon, Kyle Allen, Alexandra Shipp, Simon Helberg; and the Sean Penn directed Ukraine documentary Superpower.