‘Sopranos’ prequel transforms Newark 50 years into the past

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NEWARK -

Filming for the feature film “The Many Saints of Newark,” a prequel for HBO’s “The Sopranos” is underway in New Jersey.

The movie, which is being filmed in and will take place in Newark, is expected to take place during the Newark Riots of 1967. Parts of the city were transported through time this week as set designers dressed the city up to look like it did 50 years ago.

Vacant storefronts have become billiard halls and pawn shops. Claimtech Management Computer was turned into a TV repair shop. The long-defunct Adams Theater was resurrected once again for the movie and appears to be playing “The Dirty Dozen.”

“It’s really something else,” says Michael Brummer of Hobby’s Deli.

RELATED: Filming for two productions closes several New Jersey streets 

The riots in the Brick City in the late 60s were a pivotal moment of history for its residents.

“I went through this,” says Wilbur Ross, a lifelong Newark resident.

Newark, while still dealing with many issues, has seen some improvement over the years with big companies and big development moving in.

“Yeah, it’s coming. But is it coming for all of us?” asks Ross.

Pasquale Lombardi was born in Newark and owned a business there for years before retiring. He says that he remembers walking the streets the days after the riots, thinking about the future. As a collector of historic military vehicles, he now owns a vintage 1962 tank. He's been hired to drive it down this street for the movie.

Lombardi says that it is almost as if his life has come full circle to act in a scene that is about a seminal moment of his life.

“The Many Saints of Newark” is expected to hit theaters in September 2020.

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