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Oscar filmed on location in Hub?

Several of this year’s Academy Award-nominated movies filmed scenes in Massachusetts. But many of the locations aren’t what they seem.

The opening scene of “The Social Network” takes place in the Thirsty Scholar Pub in Somerville but it almost wasn’t shot in the Harvard haunt.

“When I talked to [director] David Fincher he said he’d much rather shoot the scene in L.A. but he couldn’t find a place with the character of the Thirsty Scholar,” pub owner Patrick Cross said.

The Thirsty Scholar playing itself in the film about the Facebook founders is a rarity in Hollywood, and apparently in Boston, too. Many of the scenes in this year’s Oscar-nominated films set in the area use local locations out of context.

For example, “The Town” pretends Thornton’s Flower Shop is in Charlestown, when it is actually located in South Boston.

“They were looking for an older, vintage place,” owner Amy Hayes said. “We just had a good time with it. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity. It was fun, an interesting look inside the movie business and how it works.”

The North End stood in for Cambridge’s Harvard Square in “The Town”‘s opening chase scene, but “The Fighter,” based in Lowell, managed to stay within the confines of that city.

And while Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore filled in for Harvard’s campus in “The Social Network,” the Thirsty Scholar has a movie poster signed by Fincher on its wall that proves the opening scene was shot on location.

“This kind of excitement generates all the people that wouldn’t come in otherwise,” Cross said. “It’s great for us. It’s great for the city of Somerville.”

Out of context

Several scenes from the Oscar-winning films “The Departed” and “Mystic River” were shot out of context as well. In “Mystic River,” the Jamaica Plain pub Doyle’s was supposed to be in Dorchester.

“People still come in and talk about it,” Doyle’s co-owner Gerry Burke said.

 
 
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