ELYRIA — The sign at the end of Sue and Ernie Lance’s driveway read a word that either people got as soon as they saw it, or it went right over their heads.
“Bazinga,” for non-fans of The Big Bang Theory, is a word used by lead character Sheldon Cooper to accompany his jokes and pranks. The Lances let it be a message to actress Melissa Rauch, who portrays their favorite character on the long-running hit CBS comedy series.
The well-known actress had a good chance of seeing the handmade sign because she was just a stone’s throw from the Lances’ Elyria home all day Sunday.
“It’s so cool. We can’t believe it,” said Sue Lance. “I saw her walk right by and I couldn’t say anything to her. She’s so pretty in person.”
Rauch is starring in “The Bronze,” a comedy about a former Olympic gold medalist that is being filmed in Lorain County. Although the shooting is centered in Amherst, the production crew settled in Elyria for the day and chose the Pikewood Manor Mobile Home Park near Midway Mall as their location.
“I was told it had to do with the scene itself, and that they liked our community as a whole,” said Kent Sommer, park owner and operator. “They liked what they saw.”
Rauch and her real-life husband, Winston Beigel, wrote the comedy. The movie will mark the feature film directorial debut of Bryan Buckley, a veteran of more than 40 Super Bowl TV commercials since 1999.
Sommer said before the production crew set up an elaborate display in several areas around the mobile home park, he spoke with numerous movie officials in the days leading up as they searched for the perfect setting.
A mobile home near Eagle Circle and Quail Drive ended up the chosen place. Without a tenant, it was easy for movie crews to stage the home with bedroom, kitchen and living room furnishings.
“I can’t wait to see the final movie because you never know how these things are going to turn out until you are watching the movie,” Sommer said.
Sue Lance said she can’t wait to see it as well.
“We’ve lived here for two years and nothing this exciting has ever happened,” she said. “My grandson and I watched them all morning.”
“I’ve been a big fan of hers for years,” added Ernie Lance.
The Lances said short of a meet-and-greet, their only hope was for Rauch to see and autograph their sign.
“Man, I would really flip,” Sue Lance said.
Sommer said residents were made aware of the movie shoot several days ago.
“Overall, everyone is glad they came here,” he said. “Pikewood is a nice community, and people don’t really know its here.”