Posts Tagged ‘Katy House’

TueJun201121

Smithville, TX Goes Hollywood

 Who would have thought that we would get to meet movie stars and have them stay in our Bed and Breakfast?  Check out  this new  article from the Houston Chronicle. I love the last line: “They are beyond film-friendly,” Patterson says. “There’s something almost magical about filming in Smithville.”

Texas’ quaint Smithville goes Hollywood

By MELANIE WARNER SPENCER
Copyright 2011, HOUSTON CHRONICLE

June 21, 2011, 12:09AM

 Road trippers, business travelers and other rambling types who have driven the stretch of highway between Houston and Austin likely have spied the big “Smithville, Home of Hope Floats sign off of Texas 71. Despite the town’s proud history with the 1998 Sandra Bullock movie, Smithville likely isn’t the first place to spring to mind when most people think about Texas film. Since 2008, however, when Texas writer/director Terrence Malick shot much of his Cannes Film Festival Palme d’Or award-winning opus The Tree of Life in Smithville, the sleepy hamlet has served as the backdrop for nine feature films and a variety of shorts, commercials and Web series. “It’s a beautiful town,” says John Patterson, location manager for The Tree of Life. “For six weeks, we filmed in one neighborhood. Part of the idea was having a neighborhood in the ’50s where the boys could run yard to yard without fences and without knowing whose yard they are in.”The film is set in the Midwest and focuses on the relationship of the eldest of three sons, Jack (played by Sean Penn), with his father (Brad Pitt). It tackles questions about relationships, faith, innocence lost and the meaning of life. Smithville offers a wealth of virtually untouched ’50s-era architecture, as well as Victorian, ’60s, ’70s and contemporary suburban streetscapes.The former made it a natural location for the movie, but according to Patterson, Smithville had much more to offer than just a great look. “We really got to know the town,” Patterson says. “Some of the cast and crew lived right in town and rented houses and rode their bikes to the set. It’s a pretty unique way to make a film.” Rather than using the ubiquitous trucks and trailers for hair and makeup, wardrobe and stars dressing rooms, they rented out a house for each department or actor to use as a base. While logistics and location are key, there is one thing that comes up every time you talk to a person who has worked on a film in Smithville: “It comes down to the people who live there,” Patterson says. “They all know it’s a special place. They are happy to be there and happy to show it off.” Quenby Iandiorio, a wardrobe supervisor and set costumer who moved to Austin from Los Angeles in 2010, has worked on three movies in Smithville in the past year: Beneath the Darkness, a thriller starring Dennis Quaid; Doonby, a drama featuring John Schneider; and Natural Selection, a dark comedy starring Rachael Harris by writer-director and Houston-native Robbie Pickering.The latter swept Austin’s South by Southwest film festival in March, nabbing the Grand Jury Prize for narrative feature filmmaking, the festival Audience Award and jury prizes for music, editing and screenplay, as well as breakthrough performance honors for Harris and Matt O’Leary. Iandiorio has both commuted to Smithville and lived there during production. (Beneath the Darkness is due in theaters in October; Doonby and Natural Selection are awaiting distribution deals.)”I totally dug it,” Iandiorio says. “It was a small town, and it’s really easy to get to work every day and change locations. When I was living there, it was magnificent. To be able to ride your bike to set blew my mind, coming from L.A.”While it was at times challenging to find clothing at the last minute, Iandiorio says it’s just part of doing this kind of work in Central Texas. “No matter how much you prepare for a trip, something comes up,” Iandiorio says. “Even in Austin there aren’t the resources that I’m used to having (in L.A.). It’s more challenging to get what the director wants if it’s not already in your collection. But nobody is going to have everything. … You have to shop for it and go secondhand and vintage.”Echoing Patterson’s sentiments, Iandiorio says it’s all about the residents, who are quick to assist the crew and for whom hometown hospitality is matter-of-fact. “Everyone lends themselves to the production,” Iandiorio says. “The small filmmakers wouldn’t be able to do these productions without their assistance. Film commissioner Sheila Tamble really rolls out the red carpet for people and opens up her house. Her husband’s cooking is amazing. Robert would cook for 70 people for lunch at night when we are shooting.” For Tamble, a Smithville native and real estate broker who got into the business quite by accident after showing a house to Malick prior to the shooting of The Tree of Life, it’s about bringing something unique to her community. “What I like is exposing our youth to different opportunities,” Tamble says. “They use the kids a lot in the films. They see the hair, the wardrobe. Our school district, like a lot all over Texas, can’t afford the arts. It’s the best way to show the children up front what it is.”Tamble and other enterprising community leaders in Smithville also recognize the economic benefits of being a film-friendly community. They have made permitting, security and other processes and procedures quick and easy for filmmakers. The mayor allows crews to office out of and hold casting calls at City Hall, and the police department is available to lead directors through the proper steps of a crime scene investigation. In return, thousands of movie-making dollars flood into the town and into the hands of its business owners and residents, who rent out their businesses, homes and guesthouses to crews. They have been known to lend or lease personal property, including planes, vehicles, a bottle of champagne in the middle of the night, farm equipment and even livestock to productions. Tamble’s rooster, Colonel Sanders struts his stuff in Doonby and Five Time Champion. (The latter was an indie favorite at SXSW and Dallas film festivals.)Local nonprofits reap the benefits from the industry, too. Tamble says producers from The Tree of Life, donated fruit trees to the community gardens. During the filming of Beneath the Darkness, Quaid participated in a Blue Santa benefit that raised more than $10,000. And Darkness director Martin Guigui is planning to return in October for the Smithville Music Festival. “The economic impact is something we see more because we are a small community,” Tamble says. “Tree of Life’s impact was about $725,000, not including what cast and crew spent on their own time.”The chamber of commerce has also gotten in on the action, creating a city map that pinpoints locations from the various movies and revamping its website, http://www.smithvilletx.org/, to include up-to-date details on current and past movies. Its tagline is: “A film-, family- and business-friendly community.” “They are beyond film-friendly,” Patterson says. “There’s something almost magical about filming in Smithville.”

melanie.spencer@chron.com
Read more: http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/life/main/7618946.html#ixzz1Pwdol9q9


MonFeb201128

Smithville, TX, Chamber of Commerce Banquet

Here is a recap of the Smithville Area Chamber of Commerce Banquet held last Saturday, March 26, 2011. Those attending saw an excellent video on why film makers should film in Smithville. The video was filmed by Danny Cameron  and Miranda Smith Cameron. Click here to see the video: Film in Smithville on YouTube.  I (Sallie Blalock) have a very small part near the end.  We are excited that two of the films that filmed in Smithville will be shown in Austin at SXSW. The two are “Natural Selection” and “Five Time Champion.”  We were thrilled to have some of the production crew to stay with us at the Katy House Bed and Breakfast.

Look at the video and let me know what you think about our town!

This report on our Chamber Banquet is from Mika Spears: ” We hope you had a great time at the Annual Chamber Banquet this past Saturday evening.  Congratulations to our Organization of the Year (Smithville Police Association), our Business/Employer of the Year (Smithville I.S.D.), and our very surprised Citizen of the Year, David Herrington!  We also had top-notch entertainment provided by some of the guys on our Board of Directors to celebrate the War Memorial Splash Pad project.  As usual, Catering by Chabot did an excellent job with the meal.

 There was also a surprise in store for our very own Adena Lewis as she was named “Citizen of the Decade” by the City of Smithville, and the Chamber of Commerce was awarded “Organization of the Decade”.  As someone who sees Adena in action almost every day, I can attest to her efforts and dedication, and I was elated to see her work acknowledged publicly.  And as someone who is employed by the Chamber, I am more than honored to be part of the “Organization of the Decade”, and I can assure you all that we don’t plan to “let up” anytime.”


FriFeb201125

Katy House Baked Eggs, B and B, Smithville

A  recipe that is a favorite here at the Katy House Bed and Breakfast is our Katy House Baked Eggs.  It’s the recipe guests want to try at home.

 We serve this dish with homemade toast, fresh fruit and our peppered bacon, plenty of orange juice and coffee.

Smithville, Texas,  512-237-4262/www.katyhouse.com

 Katy House Baked Eggs (we use one egg per person)-

 We will be glad to email you this recipe,  just email and request the Katy House Baked Eggs.

Email:  stay@KatyHouse.com


 For more recipes and information on our bed and breakfast click here and be on our mailing list.

Katy House Bed and Breakfast  (512) 237-4262   in Beautiful Smithville, Texas

Hometown of many movies: Hope Floats, Tree of Life, Doonby, Five Time Champion.


MonJan201124

Texas Hold ‘Em Tournament in Smithville, TX

Texas Hold ‘Em Tournament – new event for our Thunder on the Colorado Biker rally. The Tournament will be held at Riverbend Park here in Smithville, TX

  Our Bed and Breakfast rooms are filling up fast. Please make your reservations as soon as possible. (512) 237-4262

 Here is the basic information on the Tournament:   2011 Entry Form  Friday, March 18 – Riverbend Park, Smithville, Texas

Players must be seated by 8 p.m.  Tournament ends at 11 p.m.

 ($30 entry fee gets $10,000 buy-in and full three-day admission for Thunder on the Colorado Biker Rally.  Additional buy-ins available for first hour of tournament.  For rules and additional information, visit http://www.thunderonthecolorado.com/.  Participants must be at least 21 years of age.  No guaranteed spots for walk-ups as seating is limited.  Prizes for top 4 finishers.  No cash prizes.)

 Player name: ____________________________________________

Address: ________________________________________________

City: ________________________ State: ______ ZIP __________

Phone: _________________________________________________

Email: __________________________________________________

Checks should be made payable to:

Smithville Area Chamber of Commerce, PO Box 716,  Smithville, TX 78957

 For your convenience, we accept all major credit cards (circle one):

 VISA         MASTER CARD      AMERCAN EXPRESS    DISCOVER

 Name on card: _____________________________________________________________

 Card number: ______________________________________________________________

Exp Date: ____________ Signature: ____________________________________________

Questions?  Email chamber@smithvilletx.org or call 512-237-2313


TueJan201118

Poetry Readings in Smithville, TX

Spoken Word Reading  

Samantics2  

Join us for Poetry Readings   

206 Main StreetSmithville, TX   

 512-377-9244   

www.samantics2.com   

Ring in the New Year   

 Fourth Saturday in January January 22, 2011  

6:30pm – whenever  

 206 Main Street  

Smithville, Texas Come stay in one of Smithville’s Bed & Breakfasts   

512-377-9244

www.samantics2.com  

    


TueJul201020

This Weekend in Smithville, TX

Friday, July 23, 2010 – opening night for Playhouse Smithville

Saturday, July 24, 2010 – Casino Night

It’s almost here….Casino Night 2010! Thanks to all our generous donors who have not only supported us with sponsorships but also by contributing some wonderful silent auction items! We can’t wait for the event this Saturday at the Smithville Recreation Center! We are again using Casino Connection for our equipment and dealers so that we can bring our attendees the closest experience to Vegas within the borders of Texas.

It’s not too late to buy a ticket! They are still on sale at the pre-sale price of $25 each by calling the Chamber office at 512-237-2313. Come enjoy the Italian buffet, adult beverages, and gaming excitement.

The Katy House still has rooms available. Give us a call (512) 237-4262


FriJul201016

So You Want to be an Innkeeper?

So You Want to Be an Innkeeper?

 Here is some information for all of my guests that someday want to be a ‘Bed and Breakfast’ owner.

If you would like to talk to me about the class, please call: Sallie Blalock, Katy House, 512 237-4262

Aspiring Innkeepers Workshop to Be Held September 13 in San Antonio, TX

 

                The Texas Bed & Breakfast Association (TBBA), the state association of inspected inns, bed & breakfasts, guesthouses and distinctive hotels, will hold its Aspiring Innkeepers Workshop in San Antonio on September 13, 2010  

            Often referred to as “America’s Most Envied Profession,” operating a bed & breakfast is a serious business that requires personal commitment, business acumen and high standards to be successful.  TBBA offers the “Basics” workshop to help people who are interested in entering the profession.  The day-long seminar covers topics such as Getting Started, Financial Realities, Marketing & Advertising, Standards and Quality Assurance, Industry Resources, and insights about what the lifestyle is really like from seasoned professionals.

             This is the only workshop of its kind in the State of Texas offering aspiring innkeepers a chance to develop the necessary skills to be leaders in their industry.  With travelers becoming more sophisticated and discerning, successful inns must continually strive to meet and surpass the travelers’ expectations.  TBBA provides the resources to help inns meet this goal.

The workshop will be held at:  Alamo Street Victorian Inn

                                                 951 S. Alamo Street

                                                 San Antonio, TX

                                                 800-630-3722

Cost of the workshop is:
Basic & Full Member – $100 per person plus $37.50 for basic manual

 

     NON Basic or Full member $225 per person includes basic manual
The cost includes breakfast, lunch and all materials other than the manual.

If you need reservations for Sunday night, please call:

Aaron Pancoast Carriage House – 800-225-4045 – stay@nobleinns.com

Alamo Street Victorian Inn – 800-630-3722 – stay@alamovictorian.com

Arbor House Suites – 888-272-6700 – arborhaus@aol.com

Brackenridge House B&B – 800-221-1412 – brackenridgebb@aol.com

Gardenia Inn – 800-356-1605 – relax@gardenia-inn.com

Ruckman Haus B&B – 866-736-1468 – theruckmans@earthlink.net

The Inn at Craig Place – 877-427-2447 – stay@craigplace.com

For more details contact the TBBA Administrative Office at 1-800-428-0368 or info@texasbb.org.  A printable registration form, is available at www.texasbb.org.

###


TueFeb200924

Texas Tea PAPERDOLL PARTY in Smithville

Local Paper Doll Maker, Tom Tierney, is having a Paper Doll Party, March 7, 2009, from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM.  The party will be at the historic 1887 building at 216 Main Street, Smithville, Texas. The building was probably designed by the same architect that designed the Chancellor House, 201 Ramona Street (now the Katy House Bed & Breakfast.

Join Tom Tierney in his studio, the Shangri-La Emporium for a day of Paperdoll fun!  There will be Sales Tables, Show & Tell, and Surprises!

Bring your favorite or new paper dolls for show & tell.

A $10 fee will cover lunch, refreshments and handouts.  Please register by March 1st. Call Katherine Keene at (210) 912-3150 or email Bev Micucci at bevm@centurytel.net


MonFeb20099

Brits invade Smithville

 

 Our visit to the Friendly Texas Town of Smithville:

We’re still not really sure why we picked Smithville as a night stop during our short trip from Houston to Austin but are we sure glad we did.

We knew we had 24 hours to make the trip as our reservations for Austin were not good until the Monday but we didn’t really fancy a Sunday night in Houston.

Smithville looked kind of in the middle on Google maps and a quick accommodation search pointed us towards the impressive looking Katy House B&B website. The property was situated right in the middle of the small town.

Our initial call to owner/proprietor Sallie left us with a problem though. We were just an hour or so away but she was in Austin running errands and would be at least a couple of hours. She did have a suggestion, “You could park up and head across to Huebel’s Bier Garden. A few scenes of the movie, “Hope Floats”, staring Sandra Bullock, were filmed in that bar.”

This seemed like a plan as we were (well, I was) gasping for some beer and the idea of some accommodation within crawling distance of a bar is always appealing to us Brits.

There was one other point we needed to cover though. Apparently something called the ’Superbowl’ was taking place on this Sunday evening and as most of America would be watching it we felt we should too. “Oh, they do have a large TV screen,” confirmed Sallie.

We reached Smithville at about 5pm, parked outside the beautiful (but empty) Katy House B&B and headed straight over to the bar. I must have looked helpless when asked what beer I wanted but as it was my first visit to Texas I asked for something local. I was passed a ‘Lone Star’.

Jo panicked when all she thought she could see was a beer list but was soon calmed by a cold Chardonnay. There was just one other table in use as we sat there cooling off from the drive and it was soon apparent these were the sort of friendly locals we would never have met in Houston. And that wasn’t just because some of them were dressed in cowboy hats and boots.

I guess English accents aren’t heard too often in Smithville so within a few minutes one of them, Tom, had joined us, within five he had bought us another drink each.

It was at this point I remembered a recommendation in one of our guide books that went something like this – just because somebody in Texas comes up to you and says ’hello’ doesn’t mean they are the local lunatic. Trust me, if this had happened in London we would have already been collecting our coats to make a quick exit.

Within a half hour or so Sallie was on the phone informing us she was home. We finished our second drinks, said a temporary goodbye and headed over to unload our bags into the fabulous Bluebonnet room we had been assigned at the Katy House.

Here we got our second warm Texas welcome, this time from Sallie and her dogs, but hey the ‘Superbowl’ was about to start so having freshened up we soon left her in peace and headed back to see our new friends in Huebel’s.

By now we were invited to join their table and settle down for the ‘Superbowl’. Now to us ‘football’ is normally a game played with ‘feet’ and the last time I remember seeing the Cardinals on TV they were playing out of St.Louis but I think we could just about follow what was going on on the big screen.

Some excellent wings and pizza (and some great complimentary cinnamon sticks) came from the ‘Pizza Shack’ opposite and we continued to neck further beer and wine as we were given a fine rundown on the history and economy of our new favourite little town in Texas by our friends. And it seemed there was always another beer or wine on ice waiting for us.

By the end of the evening, after an exciting Superbowl was decided in favour of the Steelers with just a minute or so left on the clock, the bar jukebox was switched on and it wasn’t long before Jo was whisked onto the dance floor by Don (after he politely asked if I minded). Unfortunately his attempts to teach her the two-step were doomed to failure.

At some indeterminable point in the evening we said our goodbyes and headed back to the Katy House, a little the worse for wear but feeling right at home in Texas, for a restful night’s sleep. After an awesome breakfast with Sallie the following morning and an interesting look around Smithville we headed onto Austin.

We won’t forget our night in friendly Smithville in a hurry. Maybe we’ll be back for the 2010 Superbowl. Keep the beers (and wine) on ice.

Matt and Jo, London, England.

P.S. I did go swimming in Barton Springs.  Matt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


FriFeb20096

Smithville Dog picked for film “The Tree of Life”

Terri Krueger, ‘mom’ to Dexter Krueger, explains that Smithville, Tx is more than just a quiet community and home to the M.D.Anderson Science Park.  It’s also become a popular location for movies.  In 1997 it was the setting for “Hope Floats” starring Sandra Bullock, Harry Connick Jr, and Gena Rowlands.   In the Spring of 2008, “The Tree of Life”, began filming in Smithville.   The film features actors Brad Pitt and Sean Penn.  But the real movie star is Smithville is Terri’s dog, Dexter. 

While visiting Galveston one summer, Terri had spotted a puppy lying in the rain outside an appartment complex.  It did not take her long to rescue the six-month-old Heeler, which showed signs of abuse, and bring him back home to Smithville.

Last Spring, Krueger entered Dexter in a casting call for “The Tree of Life”, and he was selected to play Brad Pitt’s family dog in the movie, which is set in the 1950s. The home used in many of the scenes is just two block from the “Hope Floats” house, and ten blocks from the Katy House Bed and Breakfast.

“I guess you could say that Dexter went from starvaion to stardom,” Terri says.  And yes, she did get to meet Brad Pitt.  “He was very nice, very friendly. I was very impressed how approachable he was…..and he love Dexter.”

After toting Dexter to and from the movie set, Krueger’s next adventure is writing a children’s book about him.  Terri say that “It’s occurred to me that no matter what I may accomplish in my life, it’s entirely possible that I could be known in the future only as Dexter’s ‘mom’.”