Closing of smalltown Alplaus NY post office inspires movie starring Karen Allen as postmaster

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Director of new movie “Colewell” was interested in post office closures and found Alplaus

Daily Gazette News:  Alplaus didn’t lose its community identity when the post office closed nearly a decade ago, but lots of people here feared it might.

It’s a story a lot of little rural communities across the country could tell about feeling threatened by a changing world — and now lots more people will learn a little of the Alplaus story, if in fictional form.

Alplaus post office razed in Nov. 2017

The closing of this tiny Schenectady County hamlet’s post office — a real-life story of no longer having the chance to “bump into people” over mailing packages and buying stamps — has helped inspire an independent movie that will come out on streaming services this week.

“Colewell” tells the story of how the closing of a tiny Pennsylvania community’s post office affects the community residents and marks a crossroads in the life of the postmaster, played by actress Karen Allen, best-known as the female lead in “Raiders of the Lost Ark” in 1981, but a steady presence in movies and television ever since.

“I don’t think he based the character on me at all,” said Kathleen Boyle-McGarry, the Alplaus postmaster from 2002 until the closing in early 2012.

But a lot of other things about Alplaus are in the movie. Alplaus has only a few hundred residents and no restaurants or cafes, so the post office was where people got together, and that’s what the post office in the movie is like.  Read more.

There’s more about the closing of the Alplaus post office on Evan Kalish’s blog Postlandia here.

(Photo: Former Alplaus Post Office, Evan Kalish)