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Signs indicating Grown Ups 2 filming location

Tinseltown takes over Marblehead, again.

Sure, marblehead has rugged good looks, but does this North Shore town have what it takes to be a movie star? You bet! Over the years, Marblehead has served as a location for such films as The Witches of Eastwick (1986), The Good Son (1993), Moonlight Mile (2002), and Grown Ups (2010).

This summer, Adam Sandler and company came to town to shoot Grown Ups 2, starring Sandler, David Spade, Chris Rock, Kevin James, and Salma Hayek. Marblehead was chosen to “play” a fictional town called Stanton, beating out dozens of other Massachusetts cities. (Swampscott is also featured in the film.)

“Downtown Marblehead is like a Norman Rockwell painting-it’s gorgeous,” says Columbia Pictures location manager Mark Fitzgerald. “We couldn’t have built [a set with] a more perfect look.” Fitzgerald also raved about “super-polite” Marbleheaders and officials, who’ve “gone above and beyond to make us feel welcome and make this a great experience.” The actors have returned the love, meeting fans and signing autographs when possible.

Residents have been on high alert all summer, navigating around shooting locations and oh-so-casually hoping for a star sighting or two. “I was at Lime Rickey’s snack bar the other night, and there was this big guy in line next to me,” says Marblehead resident Cindy Sisco. “Someone whispered, ‘That’s Shaquille O’Neal!’ I was pretty excited, and I don’t even know who he is,” Sisco said. (The hard-to-miss 7’1″ O’Neal appears in Grown Ups 2.)  Even alongside big-name (and just plain big) stars, Marblehead is ready for its close-up.