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Local hardware store featured in ‘The Chicago Code’

Schauer Hardware in Forest Park was featured in the opening shot of 'The Chicago Code' Feb. 7. (TribLocal photo/Jim Jaworski)

Schauer Hardware in Forest Park was featured in the opening shot of 'The Chicago Code' Feb. 7. (TribLocal photo/Jim Jaworski)

Wayne Schauer already loves his Forest Park hardware store, and Hollywood showed it a little love too.

Schauer Hardware, 7449 Madison St., was featured in the opening scene of the new police drama “The Chicago Code,” which premiered Feb. 7. The short scene, a series of quick shots that always ended at the rear cash register, was filmed last fall, and even featured the store’s recognizable hammer door handle.

“People were asking, ‘was that really your store?’” he said. “It’s been really exciting for us. I’m real proud of it. We have a good store and we have good people.”

The television crew worked in the store for more than eight hours — for a scene that lasted about 30 seconds. In the show, the store was featured in a flashback to the 1970s, when a store owner, the father of one of the show’s main characters, is forced to make bribe after bribe before finally being driven out of business. The scene ends with the owner posting an out-of-business sign.

But that little change gave the most feedback, with out-of-business signs posted outside, customers began wondering if Schauer was closed for real.

“People called city hall, the chamber of commerce and us saying, ‘You can’t close that hardware store,’” he said.

The store was built in 1919 and has been a hardware store ever since, said Schauer, who has owned it for about 15 years. He was contacted in the fall when producers of the show were touring hardware stores to find a location for one of the scenes.

Schauer said when they first showed up, they looked around and left without saying anything. A few days later, they called and asked if they could film there, citing the historic feel of the store. Crews came in to start filming September.

At first he was told he could keep the store open, but there was too much foot-traffic and the show representatives asked him to close down.

“They said, ‘oh, you can keep it open,’ but it’s a pretty busy hardware store,’” he recalled. “They said, ‘You have to close up so we can do our jobs.’”

Schauer said they did little to change the already old-fashioned store. They took away the computers and replaced them with old cash registers and reversed more modern products not available in the ’70s so the labels were not showing.

Schauer almost made it in the show as an extra, standing near the counter when the filming was taking place. But he did not make the final cut.

“I was left on the cutting room floor,” he said with a laugh. “There was the man taking the money … I was standing by the chain rack next to it, but I got cut out.”

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