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Christian Bale Ate Here: Christie's Restaurant

Christie's restaurant owner George Dean by the booth where American Hustle characters shot a scene. Credit: Terry Date
Christie's restaurant owner George Dean by the booth where American Hustle characters shot a scene. Credit: Terry Date

Christie's restaurant is a sit-down, take-out seafood eatery off the rotary in Lynn. And its exterior and decor mirror the late 1970s, giving the establishment Hollywood appeal.

Well-stuffed bright vinyl booths, plain changeable letter menu board, and big picture windows fit movie set needs for makers of the critically acclaimed film American Hustle now playing in theaters.

Christie's owner George Dean hasn't seen Hustle — nominated for seven Golden Globes — but he's seen the trailer with a prominent scene featuring Christie's.

In it the con artist character played by Christian Bale meets with the Jeremy Renner character. It was shot last summer at the 17 Lynnway location.

On a recent afternoon, George Dean pointed out the booth where the movie characters sat for the shooting. It's a window seat, about halfway in the line of red booths, and looks out upon the rotary.

The single scene took all day to shoot. George was there. He said hello to Bale and Renner, and watched the doings.

Set workers diligently arranged the room —  including switching prices on the existing changeable menu board — and actors' dress to reflect late 1970s, George said. 

George, 64, knows the period well. He was working at the family-owned business in the 70s. Even before then as a kid.

The restaurant predates him. It is now in its third generation of Dean ownership, the first of which started with George's grandfather, Christie Dean, who opened the restaurant in 1903.

Another American Hustle scene was shot at Swampscott's Hawthorne by the Sea restaurant.

Both restaurants have throwback appeal fitting the movie's needs. It's about a Jersey sting job set up by the FBI to con mobsters and politicians.

Having a movie shot in your restaurant was a great opportunity, the owner of Christie's said. It will forever be linked with the movie.

Two Christie's customers on a recent afternoon included Ryan Dignan, a Nahant teenager who goes to Swampscott High, and his mom. Ryan remembers the movie filming last summer.

The Dignans drove by the movie set at the time, just as they did movie sets when Grown Ups 2 was shooting in Marblehead and Swampscott in 2012.

Ryan and his mom are regulars at Christie's. For seafood lovers, she recommends the fish sandwich.


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