In "On the Road," the historic Delta town of Locke doubles as 1949 Oakland and as someplace between Louisiana and Arizona.
Director Walter Salles and crew used San Francisco as a base during their final weeks of "On the Road," the new film adaptation of the 1957 Jack Kerouac novel in which San Francisco and the Bay Area figure prominently.
Salles shot in San Francisco, Oakland and Locke, a Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta community 25 miles south of Sacramento that was built by Chinese immigrants in 1915, when the movie was in production two years ago. Locke's original clapboard buildings still stand on Main Street, and the town is designated a national historic district.
"Locke is an extraordinary film set in the open air," Salles said. "The people who live there are so receptive and so extraordinarily generous that I wish I could shoot part of every single film in Locke."
Locke appears most clearly when Sal (Sam Riley) the fictionalized Kerouac steals food from a grocery store while traveling from Louisiana to San Francisco with cohorts Dean (Garrett Hedlund) and Marylou (Kristen Stewart). The shoplifting occurs somewhere east of Arizona.
The production revived a shuttered Locke grocery store for the scene, said Lisa Kirk, who runs Strange Cargo, a Main Street collectibles and book shop. She said her shop was enlisted for an Oakland-set scene in which Sal walks down a street past her shop window, through which people can be seen sitting on a couch.
For a scene in which Sal sits in a bar alone, the production used Al's bar and restaurant.
"It was fascinating to watch the set people they are so detailed," Kirk said. "It was even more fascinating than to see the filming."
Set designers and crew spent several days painting interiors and otherwise temporarily transforming the town for a shoot that Kirk said lasted only hours on "a very cold December night" in 2010.
Kirk started selling books by Beat authors after the shoot. She's considering a window display devoted to the book and film.
The production paid well to use her shop, she said.
"It was a fun and profitable experience."
She and friends in Locke already have (sort of) watched the film, which opens today at the Crest but also has been showing on video on demand.
"We just fast-forwarded to see our scenes, so I haven't really seen the whole movie," Kirk said.
Call The Bee's Carla Meyer, (916) 321-1118.. Follow her on Twitter @CarlaMeyerSB.