ActivePaper Archive Pagoda has supporting role on ‘The Last Airbender’ poster - Reading Eagle, 5/13/2010

Pagoda has supporting role on ‘The Last Airbender’ poster


•The Last Airbender• poster with an image of the Pagoda, where fi lming took place last spring.

Whether the city’s iconic Pagoda atop Mount Penn will appear in M. Night Shyamalan’s film “The Last Airbender” remains a matter of speculation, but the structure has found a home on the poster for the fi lm.

That poster is on display in local theaters, as the fi lm’s opening date, July 2, nears.

Cindy L. Kauff man, Pagoda manager, admitted she was surprised when she fi rst saw the poster.

“When they (Shyamalan’s crew) were here fi lming the picture last year, I was told the Pagoda would not be seen in the movie,” Kauff man said. “But to have it on the poster is a great joy. I’m thrilled.”

Paramount Pictures, the film’s distributor, did not respond to inquiries about the poster’s design.

Kauffman explained that the ground below the Pagoda was used to film one of the picture’s pivotal scenes, in which the title character, Aang, returns to his village and fi nds its inhabitants murdered and the buildings burned to the ground.

“I found some of the bones used in that scene — not real bones but resin re-creations,” Kauff man said.

“I have them on display in the Pagoda with two photos signed by the cast.”

Kauffman and city Councilwoman Marcia Goodman-Hinnershitz are working to organize some sort of local premiere for the film, with or without the help of Paramount.

“As of now, nothing is confi rmed,” Kauff man said.

Goodman-Hinnershitz also has started a fan club for the fi lm.

As for the public-relations value of the poster and the film, all agree the movie will have a favorable impact for Reading.

“We’re going to exploit it as much as we can,” Reading Mayor Tom McMahon said. “You can be sure.”

Crystal A. Seitz, president of the Greater Reading Convention and Visitors Bureau, went so far as to compare the Pagoda’s presence in the fi lm to that of the Philadelphia Museum of Art in “Rocky.”

“Of course, it depends how much of it we see (in the fi lm),” Seitz clarifi ed.

“However, we’ve already noticed an increase in traffic on our Web site and on the Pagoda Facebook site” — much of it inspired by the fi lm.