Brownsville becomes the set of new Val Kilmer flick, “Riddle”

By Jared Bundy-Staff Writer

The sleepy neighboring town of Brownsville was in for a shock this week when the glitz and glamour of Hollywood arrived. In just a few days, the town was transformed into a professional set for a feature film.

Areas neighboring California University of Pennsylvania, including a local library and restaurant, were turned into settings for the upcoming film “Riddle”.

The film, starring Val Kilmer, is a psychological thriller that takes place in the fictional town of Riddle. Crowds gathered throughout Brownsville to watch as the movie magic took place in their hometown and for a glimpse at the stars.

Of course, much preparation work had to be done to make the set ready for production. The biggest turnaround took place at the Brownsville Library.

“Riddle” uses the building as a police station, which required boxing and moving thousands of books. Librarian Meredith Hamilton said that over 900 boxes of books had to be stored away for safekeeping.

“We had six teenagers come and help pack the books and keep them organized,” Hamilton said. “They were a great help.”

The library interior is now redecorated to match the film, and a giant logo on the outside labels the building as the Riddle County Sheriff’s Office. The library remained closed for the week.

Another shooting location was Fiddle’s restaurant, a Brownsville landmark tucked under a bridge, and a focal point of various Brownsville histories and documentaries. The camera crews also shot down the main street in West Brownsville and at various trails around the area.

“Riddle” producer Brian Hartman said that he originally discovered the area when visiting Fayette County with his wife.

“We ate at Fiddle’s and my wife, who isn’t even in the film business, fell in love with {Brownsville},” Hartman said.

Additionally, reports that Hartman is from the Pittsburgh area, and has made Pittsburgh his home again, instead of Los Angeles, within the last decade. Having worked throughout the film industry with experience on classics such as “The Silence of the Lambs,” Hartman said the production is going right on schedule.

“We’ve had no problems with the shoot so far,” Hartman said. “The rain has seemed to stop every time we’ve needed to shoot, so it has worked out very well.”

This is not the only star power this area has seen recently. Last fall, “Gladiator” star Russell Crowe was just outside Brownsville on Route 43 to shoot his upcoming film, “The Next Three Days.”

Hartman said many more film opportunities could be coming Brownsville’s way.

“Brownsville already has a reputation of being film-friendly,” Hartman said. “I’d encourage any production company to shoot in this area.”


  1. Generally I do not learn post on blogs, but I would like to say that this write-up very pressured me to take a look at and do so! Your writing taste has been amazed me. Thank you, very great post.

  2. renee says:

    This movie was also filmed in South Fayette, Mcdonald & CV HS football field/among other south hills locations.

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