This may be the first movie premiere in Bayonne since the early 20th Century, when the city once boasted that it was the home of the silent movie industry.
The theater, located in the South Cove Mall at 191 Lefante Way, will bring stars to what some have called one of the best "feel-good" movies of the year. There will be a pre-show performance by local talent scheduled for 6 p.m.
Special guests will likely be on hand for four days of premier events from Oct. 27 to Oct. 30.
Producer Paul DeAngelo, a Bayonne resident, who also plays one of the characters in the movie, said large segments of the film were shot in Bayonne, Jersey City, and Hoboken.
Many of the important scenes in the movie were actually shot in Bayonne High School, as the story revolves around six high school graduates who learn about the value of friendship, the inconsistencies of life, and what it takes to make it in the music industry.
Destination Fame has a soundtrack that features successful musical stars.
"I had to travel all over the world to get some of these people," DeAngelo said.
The music gives the film a huge boost, although the tale is mostly about how determination leads to success, even in the music world.
Michael Jackson's father
Joseph Jackson, father of Michael Jackson, plays Johnnie Hawkins, the owner of a large advertising agency that helps launch the careers of the high school students.
The cast includes R&B artist Mario, former New Kids on the Block member Jordan Knight, American Idol's A.J. Gil, Cuba Gooding Sr., Greg Raposo, Deja Kreutzberg, award winning musical artist Amir Bayyan (Grammy winner from Kool & the Gang); and others musical celebrities, some of whom are expected to be at the Bayonne premier.
DeAngelo said he wanted to make "a wholesome" and "family-oriented" movie, and felt that he succeeded.
"I wanted to have the premiere here because I live in Bayonne," DeAngelo said.
The project started two years ago when the idea came to him while he was sitting in St. Michael's Church, he said.
"I was inspired so I went home and wrote the script," he said. "I wanted to do something positive, something that had a good message. Most movies are saturated with violence, vulgarity and sex. I was asked to put that into this movie, but I said no."
He said the script flowed out of him as pure inspiration.
The said the movie is "wall-to-wall music." DeAngelo wanted to put in every kind of music possible, and he wanted to do some of it in Bayonne. Important scenes in the film take place at Bayonne High School, Dolphin Gym, Magic Fountain, and Joe's Pizzeria.
Filming was also done in Pavonia Newport Mall in Jersey City, West New York, Union City, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Staten Island, and Seaside Heights.
More than 100 extras from Bayonne were used in the making of the film, mostly students at the high school. DeAngelo said he was particularly grateful to the principal and administrators at the high school, the superintendent of the schools, and local government and merchants for making the film easy to shoot.
But DeAngelo isn't the only local talent involved in behind the scenes on this film. Former Guttenberg mayor-turned-filmmaker Peter Lavilla played a part, as did people like Tony "Doc" Inverno, Mark Lioli, Gino DiDiovacchino, and local real estate agent Tony Ward.
"They and the city made it seem easy, and we felt comfortable filming here," he said.
DeAngelo is more than a local legend. While his first film, Sleepaway Camp (1983) is something of a horror film cult classic, he has also starred in Return to Sleepaway Camp (2005), Livers Ain't Cheap (1997) and Silent Madness (1997).
One of the objects of the premiere was to get local talent to perform also. DeAngelo plans a pre-show prior to the premiere featuring all local talent. He said he wants to help the kids of Bayonne.
"If there is anything I want to get across, it's that you have to believe in yourself and that you should follow your dreams," he said, also pointing out that it is never too late. "Everyone needs a second chance."
Executive Producer Carol Kachmer said the two musical albums and a possible concert tour are in the works as a result of the film already. "It is even possible that a weekly TV series might come as a result of this," Kachmer said.