The Mafia Moves Into Downey.
The Rives Mansion was used as a feature film location this past weekend for the film, Sharkskin. The film is the story of a taylor in 1940s New York who becomes involved with the mob. The films writer and director, Don Perri drew on his own family experiences to write the script. “My uncle was a man of principle who became involved with the local Mafia” Perri said. He continued, “The story is very personal to me and my family.” Perri has been in the film business for many years. Before turning to filmmaking himself he was one of the top title designers in the industry. “I worked for some really great filmmakers like George Lucas and Martin Scorsese. I was very blessed” Perri said.
The films cast is full of recognizable faces, some of the busiest character actors in the business. Robert Costanza, John Capodice, Don Caflia, John Aprea and David Proval to name a few. The Rives Mansion was used for the all of the interior shots including the “Don’s” dining room. Perri said, “The home, Casa Balnca is just beautiful and it was perfect for our film. The City of Downey was very helpful in getting us through the process of getting a permit approved. We especially want to thank Mayor Mario Guerra for helping us and keeping us on schedule.”
Mario makes his film debut in Sharkskin. The producers offered Mario a cameo role in the film. Guerra said, “Happy to have filming in our city. Good for local economy and they hire local caterers etc. We will continue to cultivate our business friendly attitude to have more location filming in Downey. Personally it was interesting to see the process and to see the hard work of so many behind the scenes. I enjoyed watching it and participating in a small way. I thank the Rivera family for bringing this production company to the Rives mansion and having others enjoy the rich history it offers. I look forward to continue having our City as a community that contributes to the economy of Southern California and Downey.”
The house is owned by Downey Realtors, Carman and Oscar Rivera. “We are very happy to have the film shoot at the home. We have had other films shot here and we are very open to renting to production companies.” Carman said. They provide overnight storage for the production equipment and the cast and crew are even welcome to stay at the house while shooting. That is very rare for a production rental. The mansion was built in 1911 by District Attorney and founder of Downey’s very first newspaper, James C. Rives and is considered the city’s most historic landmark.
For more information on the Rives Mansion contact Casa Blanca Realty at
(562) 577-2228 or email Carmen at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on the film Sharkskin go to
For information on filming in Downey go to