This piece appeared in Soap Opera Update on November 16, 1993.

What happened at the GENERAL HOSPITAL remote

The return of Luke and Laura has ushered in a new look to GENERAL HOSPITAL. The couple's reentrance to Port Charles came via on-location scenes shot in and around Rochester, New York. In addition to the story-related scenes used during November sweeps, shots from the New York shoot will be used to define Pont Charles locations from here on. The hospital exterior, which is really County/USC Medical Center in Los Angeles, has been used since 1963.

Hidden Discovery

"We wanted to bring an even richer and more textured feel to our story by going on location," says executive producer Wendy Riche. "Thirty years ago, the creators of GENERAL HOSPITAL conceived that the city of Port Charles was in upstate New York. We felt that the Rochester area was perfect for our vision of the city. And when we discovered that catacombs, which we've used in Port Charles as a plot device for years, actually exist beneath the downtown area, we were set."

Very Cold Conditions

More than 100 cast and crew members worked 18-hour days to tape the exciting scenes, which involved aerial shots, boats, parachuting and explosions. "It was cold, rainy and wet," says an ABC spokesperson about the 45-degree inclement weather. "We have tons of empathy for Tony (Geary, Luke) and Genie (Francis, Laura). They spent one morning in a pool with their clothes on, several hours in a cold river, and another day hanging from a helicopter ladder. There was not a lot of levity on the set."

Luke And Laura's Youngest Fans

While the cast and crew endured painful conditions, the locals rejoiced in standing on the sidelines to watch their favorite soap couple reunite in person. In the small town of Perry, New York, the elementary school was let out early so the kids could watch the taping. The only problem was that most of them weren't even born when Luke and Laura were originally on GH. But that's okay--they enjoyed watching a real live TV show come to town anyway.

Luke and Laura graced the cover of the accompanying free "Digest," which advertised this piece, part of a larger article previewing the upcoming two weeks on the show. Here's the cover and a detail of the photo, below.


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