Hollywood in Hagerstown!

Back in 2001, western Maryland was a location shoot for the Ted Turner produced major motion picture, “Gods and Generals”.

I’m sure many people remember the news of the filming taking place around the area and some may even remember the premier held at the Maryland Theater.

But what many may not remember is that The Hope Center was actually used as a location shoot for the movie!

The film crew descended on our property in the early morning hours one Sunday. The Hope Center, known as the Hagerstown Union Rescue Mission at the time, was to be the streets of Richmond for a storyline following infamous actor, John Wilkes Booth.

The scene is set as John Wilkes Booth, played by Chris Conner, walks out of a theater in Richmond to a group of fans congregating in the street. The building next to the “theater” was a Confederate Army recruitment center. As John Wilkes Booth leaves the theater, he proceeds to address the crowds gathering in the streets before entering a building.

The day of filming was quite exciting. The Trinity Center, our multi-purpose building just across from the sorting building,  was used for wardrobe, make-up and craft services. In addition to the actors and extras present for the scene filmed, actors Robert Duvall (Robert E. Lee) and Stephen Lang (Stonewall Jackson) visited the set.  A surprise guest, Ted Turner, was also present during the shoot.

The theater in the movie is actually the donation drop dock of our sorting building and the kitchen side of our main building was used as the Confederate recruitment center.

Today, you can still see a bit of Hollywood history on the side of our sorting building. Just to the left of the doors at the dock is a faint, white painted sign reading, ‘Marshall Theater – Deliveries Only’.

The John Wilkes Booth storyline was originally cut from the movie. Theater audiences didn’t see the scenes filmed at The Hope Center. The film was recently re-released as an extended director’s cut on Blu-ray. This extended cut features the scene filmed at The Hope Center. You can pick up the Blu-ray version at stores that sell Blu-ray dvd’s as well as Amazon and other online retailers.

We’re Green!!

Did you know that we were “going green” well before it was a trendy thing to do? That’s right, we’ve been a recycling center in downtown Hagerstown for a very long time!

Our recycling facility, just across Prospect St from our main facility is where we accept cardboard, newspaper and rags to be bundled, baled and sold.

Men who are enrolled in Foundations, our 13-month life recovery program, are given job assignments as part of the Life Recovery work program. These assignments consist of various jobs on the Hope Center property. Some of our residents work in the Thrift Store, Sorting Room, Check-In Office, Kitchen, Cleaning Crew or the Baling Room (recycling program). These men help to keep our operating costs down while also receiving valuable work experience which helps to rebuild personal value.

When businesses or individuals give us their recyclables, our workers separate and bale everything to be sold. Once the the bales are ready to go, the buyer sends a tractor-trailer to pick up the recycled materials. The truck averages 36 bales of recycled material. In 2011, we recycled 7 loads of cardboard. Each load is roughly 35,000 pounds which means that we recycled around 240,000 pounds of cardboard last year!

In addition to cardboard and newspaper, we bundle and sell rags or old clothing. These pieces of clothing are then sold to recyclers or agencies who re-sort and sell or distribute overseas.

Our recycling program is important to the Hope Center in several different ways. In addition to providing our residents with another important work program, the sales of the recycled material is a valuable resource in addition to financial donations and Thrift Store sales. And as Christians, we find the recycling of these materials is important to taking care of God’s creation and keeping these materials out of landfills.

Our recycling program is available to individuals and businesses. If you have cardboard or newspaper that you would like to recycle, please drop it by our Baling Center during operating hours listed below. If you have clothing, please drop off at our Sorting building on the main property located off Church Street between Walnut and Prospect Streets. All clothing items are sorted there first before being taken to either our stores or the recycling facility.

Baling Room/Recycling Center Hours: 

M-F 8:30-11:30am   12:30-1:45pm

Saturday 8:30-11:30am