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House Ear Institute welcomes 'Three Rivers' TV drama

October 13, 2009 |  9:00 am
49804485 On the second floor of a medical office building at the corner of 3rd and Alvarado streets, dozens of crew members and extras prepare to shoot a Thanksgiving dinner scene for the seventh episode of the CBS drama "Three Rivers."

The series about doctors, donors and recipients involved in organ transplants is set at a hospital in Pittsburgh, Penn., but is filmed locally -- on the Paramount lot and often inside the new wing of the House Ear Institute, across from St. Vincent Medical Center.

The building has been featured prominently in the series, which began filming in August.  "It's very modern, sleek and it's centrally located,'' said Bob Lepucki, location manager for the show.

For the 64-year-old institute, which conducts research in ear and auditory diseases, the filming has provided a welcome boost in revenue. The institute has generated $60,000 from filming activity this year, mostly from "Three Rivers." Like other nonprofits, House Ear has cut jobs and hours of staff in response to the recession.

"It's definitely welcome at a time when donations have been slower coming in,'' said Kirsten Holguin, spokeswoman for House Ear. "It has a very real impact on what we're doing."

-- Richard Verrier