HANFORD — Filmmaker Joshua Cordero encountered something he never expected when he was asked to help film a promotional video for the L.T. Sue Tea Room in China Alley.
“When I was doing research for the video I had no idea what a rich history Hanford had or that there were Chinese settlers here as far back as the late 1800s,” Cordero said. “That’s when the project changed. I wanted to do more and document more than just the tea room. It became more of a documentary than a promo.”
The video eventually became “The China Alley Experience,” a 10-minute short film that covers the history of China Alley, the opening of the tea room and how plans are forming to help revitalize the area. The video can now be viewed at Cordero’s website www.remscape.com or at the tea room’s website www.ltsue.com.
Arianne Wing, co-owner/operator of the tea room, said the whole idea for a movie came from the need to promote new products being sold at L.T. Sue.
“About 20 percent of our profits at L.T. Sue go toward revitalizing China Alley,” Wing said. “The tea room has created a new wholesale line of teas and other products such as our marinade. We really needed a way to promote these products so we can continue raising funds to help bring back China Alley.”
The project started with fellow co-owner/operator Steve Banister posting a message on Facebook looking for a videographer to make a video about the tea room and China Alley. Joshua Cordero, who has his own local film production company called Remscape, was recommended to Banister and Wing, based on his previous work and other projects he had done around Hanford.
“At the time I was unaware of the tea room, but familiar with China Alley,” Cordero said. “I was fortunate enough to have several satisfied clients who regularly visit the tea room that quickly mentioned my name to Steve.”
Filming began in late fall this year and was spread over several days. When Cordero got started and began learning more about China Alley, he became intrigued with the history and decided to expand the promotional aspect of the project.
“While the video does elaborate on the venture of using the tea room to help restore China Alley, it was pretty special to have the opportunity to approach the video like a History Channel special,” Cordero said. “It felt great to share the uniqueness of this place on a deeper level. The stories about the settlers, their struggles and their triumphs is extraordinarily fascinating.”
Wing said she was very impressed with how the project turned out.
“I was very, very pleased,” she said. “I think it will help bring awareness to this little gem of Hanford history.”
The reporter can be reached at 583-2427 or bsantiago@HanfordSentinel.com.