By Kelsey Durham
A stretch of Bell Boulevard in Bayside was transformed into a movie set this week when the strip was used for an episode of a nationally broadcast television show.
Trailers lined the street Monday as CBS shot scenes for an episode of “Elementary,” a crime drama starring Lucy Liu and Jonny Lee Miller that is based on a modern-day interpretation of Sherlock Holmes. The crew spent the day in Bayside using various businesses and locations along the boulevard to film the entire episode.
Elizabeth Fisher, a member of the director’s team, said the area was chosen a few weeks ago as a good fit by CBS based on the look of the neighborhood and what was required for the episode.
“Scouts match the needs of the script to places in the area,” Fisher said,“ whatever neighborhoods can accommodate us.”
The show takes place in New York City and Fisher said being able to film in the locale is an important part of the series. She said the show frequently visits Queens and has been to Bayside a few times in the past.
“New York is a major character of our show, and we really want to highlight it and all the diversity,” Fisher said. “We shoot in different neighborhoods all the time and really like to feature the whole city.”
Parts of the episode were shot in North Shore Animal Hospital, at 42-02 215th St., and Gleason’s Funeral Home, at 36-46 Bell Blvd.
Lyle Sclair, executive director of the Bayside Village Business Improvement District, said TV shows and movies have been filmed in the area in the past and businesses are usually happy to see their neighborhoods featured on the screen.
“If the business is displayed by its actual name, it’s tremendous advertising,” he said. “We always like to see productions that leverage the current-day Bell Boulevard based on the success it’s had in the past.”
Some of the episode was also shot outside on the street, leading to temporary road closures along Bell Boulevard for a portion of the day. Parking was also suspended Monday in certain spots surrounding the set, causing some congestion for motorists while filming took place.
Sclair said the BID is constantly working with Community Board 11, the 111th Precinct and the mayor’s Office of Film, Theater and Broadcasting, which issues permits for film shoots around the city, in order to minimize the effect the parking and traffic issues could have on the area businesses.
Fisher said she could not reveal what the episode was about or why it so closely matched Bayside, but she said it is scheduled to run as Episode 19 during the show’s second season, currently airing on CBS.
“Just keep an eye out for it,” she said.
Reach reporter Kelsey Durham at 718-260-4573 or by e-mail at email@example.com.