ST. JOSEPH, MO (KCTV) — Halloween is only just wrapped up but the talk of Christmas is already beginning in St. Joseph thanks to a local historic landmark serving as the setting for a holiday-themed movie.
The movie “Shakespeare Chateau” started streaming on Showtime VOD services Friday and has its broadcast premiere Saturday on the Showtime Family Zone channel.
The real-life bed-and-breakfast featured in the Christmas love story sits on Hall Street in St. Joseph, and owner Isobel McGowan said it dates back to the glory days of the frontier town.
“(It was) built in year 1885, kind of at the year of that guided age of great wealth and prosperity here in St. Joseph,” she explained.
McGowan said the majestic mansion caught the eye of director Jason Hudson.
“He immediately saw it as a unique opportunity to showcase something very unusual and original,” she recalled.
In the movie, which was filmed in 2018, three sisters run a bed and breakfast when a bank forecloses on it, with the deadline to save the business being Christmas Day.
“And enter a handsome banker who sweeps one of the sisters off her feet, and you know, it’s all history from there,” McGowan said.
The actual owner makes an appearance in the movie herself, playing a role she may be somewhat familiar with.
“I had the privilege of playing a very difficult guest for the lady who’s running the bed and breakfast,” McGowan explained.
Not only was the mansion part of the setting of this movie, but they even incorporated a lot of McGowan’s actual household items like a rolling pin and even an apron worn by a character named Brooke in several scenes.
It is not just the Shakespeare Chateau in the spotlight, though. Other scenes include the downtown public library, a historic downtown bank and the downtown streets.
“It also showcases some other very important locations here in St. Joseph,” McGowan said. “Jason and his production crew did a remarkable job of showcasing our city in its absolute best light.”
As for McGowan, who bought the mansion as a retirement project, she’s taken aback by it appearing in a big network movie.
“I’ve never been part of a movie production before, so it was very exciting, very interesting to see how that unfolds.”