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Purcellville’s Nichols Hardware to star in film

Nichols Hardware, a mercantile establishment in the same family’s hands for more than eight decades, is the subject of a film currently being shot in western Loudoun County.

Tentatively called “The Last Hardware Store,” the documentary will feature footage of the store’s daily operations, interviews with owners and staff (average tenure in the 30-year range), memories of longtime customers, and historical footage and photographs. The film is scheduled to be completed spring 2010.

Nichols Hardware opened its doors as the E.E. Nichols & Company in 1915. After last year’s death of Ed Nichols, the store is now owned and managed by Ed’s brother Ken Nichols and his son Ted Nichols.

Filming the documentary is the recently formed collaborative The Lincoln Studios in the village of Lincoln. Noted portrait photographer Sarah Huntington is executive producer. Peter Buck, a veteran videographer, is directing, and principal cameraman and Drew Babb is the writer and editor.

“I’ve been photographing the Nichols staff for over the last 20 years,” said Huntington. “But what makes Nichols unique is not just the way it looks, but the way it moves. There’s a kind of ballet here, with a team of sales people gliding their customers in and out of basements and attics and warehouses to find just the right thing they came in for. We’re here to capture this movement, this action, for all time.”

Recollections welcomed

Customers with recollections, anecdotes and old photos of Nichols are encouraged to contact the Lincoln Studios at 540-338-7809 for possible inclusion in the documentary.

- Drew Babb

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