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Review: Route 30 Three! movie wraps up Lincoln Highway trilogy

Written by T. W. Burger, Public Opinion Online | Jul 15, 2015 3:00 PM

Photo by Kerri Fleegle, Public Opinion Online

Actors Lee Wilkof, Ray Ficca, Will Love, Carl Schurr, Ed Gotwalt, Noah Applebaum, Molly Lahr and Director/Producer John Putch take audience questions after the premiere of Route 30 Three! at Capitol Theatre, Chambersburg, Saturday.

(Chambersburg) -- John Putch works an odd sort of magic. Raised in Chambersburg, the son of the owner of Totem Pole Playhouse, Putch now lives and works in Los Angeles, a city about which he has very few kind things to say.

But this place inspires him. At the Saturday preview at Capitol Theatre of Route 30 Three!, the final film in trilogy centered the fabled highway, Putch said it has been "a real treat" to present the films in his hometown, featuring people and places he has known all his life.

"I love showing my movies in my hometown," he said.

Putch gets ideas at home, but he writes them up back on the West Coast, and recruits locals, meaning everybody from Totem Pole stalwarts like Ray Ficca, Carl Schurr and, perhaps best known, "Mr. Ed." Gotwalt, who has played different characters in all three of the Route 30 films.

His store on Lincoln Way East, "Mr. Ed's Elephant Museum & Candy Store," got a lot of screen time in the final film of the trilogy.

"They made it look a lot better in the film than it does in real life,' Gotwalt quipped.

Putch said he was really excited by the reaction as the crowd attending the premiere began to react "very positively" to his fervid vision of Chambersburg and Fayetteville caught up in a pretty well botched CIA plot. It's obviously fiction, because the government would never get anything bassackwards like that, right?

Anyway, audience member Stacie Witkus, who with her husband owns Blazing Bull Pit Beef in Chambersburg, said it was "pretty fabulous," as stars of the film autographed boxed sets of the trilogy just a few feet away. "I mean, it was so entertaining to see places you know, that you can relate to, right there in a movie."

Putch said the movies are available at some local businesses and through

The trilogy was filmed over a period of eight years.

This article comes to us through a partnership between Public Opinion Online and WITF. 

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