Berkeley’s Caffe Mediterraneum Held Hostage by Department Store Film Crew

by Steed Dropout
Oct. 17, 2015

Biggest film shoot at the Med since Mike Nichols,’ the Graduate, 1967.
Photo by Ted Friedman.

Claiming to be filming for Kohl’s department stores, a 15-man film/production crew, two film trucks, two big video cams, and aspiring actors took over the Caffe Med last week.

Crew. Trucks, background. Photo by Ted Friedman.

This was not the first time the Med has had its big scene in films, nor is this the first time the Med has been held hostage.

The Med’s first first film credit was for the 1967 Mike Nicols’, “the Graduate,” a cult fave. In the film, Dustin Hoffman is seated at the window table in the Med, seemingly looking across the street
at the Print Mint and Moe’s.

Four years ago the Med was invaded by university police

with assault weapons, responding to a false gun report.

Customers were ordered out, as others refused.

The latest Med take-over was filmic this time, showing more of the Med than the Graduate had.

Filmic take-over. Photo by Ted Friedman.

The film crew’s director was a real take-charge guy like Ford, Preminger, or Hitchcock.

Take-charge director, far right. Photo by Ted Friedman.

He ordered every remaining customer around like he owned the place. Turns out he did. He’d rented the Med for $500.

Trying to follow the plot of the Kohl’s commercial was like trying to understand “Gone With the Wind” from one day on the set.

And the director distrusted media when we approached. But we were able to piece together a plot.

After this meet cute, on to the Med. Photo by Ted Friedman.

Two young people meet near the Med. One of the young people enters the Med and is assisted at the counter by Med owner, Craig Becker, who is well on his way towards a priceless screen actor’s guild card.

Actor, 3rd left, is miked as he goes for his SAG card. Photo by Ted Friedman.

What Med heads are wondering is why a white-bread department store like Kohl’s would be shooting in the Med, a pumpernickel place.

Med-owner Craig Becker steals the show. Photo by Ted Friedman.

Crew members told me this shoot would appear Feb. 18, as an ad for Kohl’s on Facebook.

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