Sea Cliff in Films

OPINION: Sea Cliff: Small town USA for the past 60 years

In 1951, the United States Information Agency, hoping to show Europeans life in a typical U.S. town, picked my town of Sea Cliff – noted for its close-knit families, old Victorian homes and pristine beaches – to be the subject of a 20-minute film.

That long-forgotten movie, whose existence was unknown to most of its residents, showed up on YouTube a few months ago, and while it hasn’t exactly gone viral, it’s holding its own in hits.

The film was shot in Sea Cliff, and the cast of hundreds consisted of town residents. Called “The House in Sea Cliff,” it mixed a lot of fact with a little fiction. The star was Reginald “Reggie” Stevenson who owned Stevenson Lumber (and later became the postmaster). In the movie, he played the owner of Schoelles, the old drugstore. His real-life wife played his wife, but actors played their two children.

The story was about how the parents felt that the teenagers in Sea Cliff had too much time on their hands and were likely to get into trouble. Sound familiar? The idea, which came from real life, was to build a community center. Everyone pitched in to help – kids and adults – except for Stevenson, who thought it was too expensive and a waste of time. Of course, in the end, he comes around, too.

The YouTube hoopla began when the movie was shown at St. Luke’s Church in Sea Cliff last year. Attracting more than 150 people, the scene was typical small town. A committee made sandwiches, provided drinks, and baked cakes and cookies. The locals sat on folding chairs and schmoozed until the lights went down.

There were oohs and aahs as people recognized their neighbors, friends, and relatives (“There’s my Aunt Mary!” “Hey, that’s my Uncle Fred!” “My, he looks young!”). Ed Stack, who later became president of the Baseball Hall of Fame, was seen as a teenage soda jerk at Schoelles. A young John Burns, later mayor of Sea Cliff, and Remington Furlong, later the superintendent of North Shore Schools, also got screen time. My typing teacher, Mrs. Zipperian – great-grandmother of the Janelli kids who are still coming through North Shore – was spotted, too.

The sleepy town of Sea Cliff looked pretty much the same. But, as 73-year-old Emily Janelli, daughter of my typing teacher, whispered to me, “I think Sea Cliff was busier then than it is today.”

Nearly sixty years later, it’s not hard to see why the USIA picked Sea Cliff to represent life in a typical U.S. town.


Endless Love (1981) 

The 1903 home at 140 Glenlawn Ave. in Sea Cliff, was used as a backdrop for a teen romance film starring Brooke Shields and James Spader and Tom Cruise in his film debut.

According to

“In the 1981 film, an obsessed teenage lover sets fire to the porch of his girlfriend’s home in a scheme to win over her skeptical parents. Rather than shooting that scene on a movie lot, the filmmakers decided to spark (and extinguish) a real fire at the home, The New York Times reported. There are absolutely no signs of damage, just the remnants of this tragic tale of forbidden cinematic love.”


2010 Sea Cliff State of Mind

Written by Claude Zeins and Jennifer StanCliff Directed & Edited by Claude Zeins, Filmed by Jenn StanCliff Special Thanks to Emily Berthold (chorus vocals) and Barbara Zeins.

Published on Aug 31, 2010


Take a Historic Home T0ur in Sea Cliff, NY

By Video Journalist Waldo Cabrera Take a tour of historic homes in Sea Cliff. Featured Interviews: Leslie Guerci, President, Sea Cliff Landmarks Association; Cynthia Johnson-Harrand, Docent; Robert & Irene Kenney, Present Owners of the Connor Cottage; Melisa & Alan Geller, Present Owners of the Sheridan House; Bruce Kennedy, Mayor, Village of Sea Cliff For more information visit: Sea Cliff Landmarks House Tour at Get DVD of this story – for Personal Use – at


The Chumley Factor (2011).  25 minute comedy. Written and directed by our own Mike Lennon and starring John Canning.


Door In The Floor (2004). 

A writer’s young assistant becomes both pawn and catalyst in his boss’s disintegrating household. Jeff Bridges, Kim Basinger, Jon Foster, and Elle Fanning.

Scenes shot in the apartment above the bookstore on Sea Cliff Avenue in the home above the old bookstore. Also some scenes shot on Tenth Avenue.


The Americans TV (Season ?, Episode ?) Brief scene in front of G & H Auto at 208 Sea Cliff Avenue followed by R & R Auto Works on School Street in Glen Cove.  Spotted by Leslie Guerci.


A Christmas Story: Payback for the Fatman (2009) TV movie


A Perfect 36 (2018) comedy


Coda (2009) short drama


Ringer (2011-2012).  TV


A Little Help (2010)


Say It Like It is (2013)


Broad City filmed an episode at a house on Littleworth and Highland Ave with Tony Danza. They also shot on Glenlawn. Spotted by Lisa Flehinger Cashman.


Girls TV Train station scene.  Spotted by Terryl Donovan.


Mozart in the Jungle.  Spotted by Wendy Rosow.


Where’s Papa? With Ruth Gordon. Spotted by Tam Heslen.


The Irishman was filmed at Tappan Beach. Spotted by Wendy Rosow.


Law and Order.  Filmed at many Tappen Beach and homes in Sea Cliff.  Spotted by Lisa Kamnitzer Harir.


G (2002 film)

G poster

G is a 2002 drama directed by Christopher Scott Cherot loosely based on the F. Scott Fitzgerald movie.  The title character “G” is a hip hop mogul looking to win back the love of his life, Sky, based on the character Daisy Buchanan.

The title character, “G”, played by Richard T. Jones, is a Hip-hop music mogul who is looking to win back the love of his life, Sky (based on the character Daisy Buchanan from the original novel).


This CVS commercial was filmed at the home of Diane & John Grubiac in 2001.