QUARTZSITE, Ariz. (AP) — “Nomadland” was partly filmed in the Western town of Quartzsite and won the Academy Award for Best Picture this year, but it’s still unclear if that will translate into more tourists.
Regardless, Phil Bates, owner of the Main Trading Post, told the Arizona Republic that he plans to be ready to sell “Nomadland”-related T-shirts and tchotchkes to any of the newly curious who decide to make a pit stop in the small Arizona town near the California border.
“I saw that it won,” he said. “It was like, son of a gun, that movie really took off.”
Frances McDormand won the best actress award for her portrayal in “Nomadland” of Fern, a widow who moves from a company town where the company has closed.
She turns her van into her house and begins her nomadic life in Quartzsite.
The filming of the movie in late 2018 did not seem to draw much attention from residents or disrupt daily activities, according to the Republic. The newspaper reported that most of McDormand’s scenes were filmed where the nomadic travelers camp in the desert south of Interstate 10.
The town proper lies north of the freeway, though two Quartzsite businesses are shown in the film.
In one scene, McDormand dances with co-star David Strathairn inside the Quartzsite Yacht Club, a bar and grill on Main Street that features live music.
But those wanting to visit the Quartzsite Yacht Club have to wait until at least October. The bar closed for the season in February because of staffing issues, according to its Facebook page.
MeMe Selleck, the Yacht Club’s owner since 2015, said the bar will reopen in October along with what she anticipates will be “Nomadland” merchandise for sale.
She no doubt will sell more memberships to the Quartzsite Yacht Club, each priced at $49.99.
Donald Miller, who sings his “Quartzsite Vendor Blues” in the film, will be back at the club.