LUTZ — Mementos of her time on the “Edward Scissorhands” set have been stored in Tandova Ecenia’s attic since shortly after director Tim Burton yelled cut for the final time in 1990.
“I’ve been searching for a good home for them,” said Ecenia, a Tampa resident who was employed as prop master on the Johnny Depp flick.
In late September, she found one — the home where Depp’s character with scissors for hands temporarily resided with the movie’s Boggs family before faking his death and living in solitude in a castle.
That house, at 1774 Tinsmith Circle on the Pasco County side of Lutz, was purchased a year ago by Joey and Sharon Licalzi. The couple then opened it to the public as Scissorland, a museum dedicated to the quirky romance film.
Those who want a tour should direct message the Licalzi’s Instagram account at instagram.com/official—scissorland.
BEHIND THE SCENES TALES
“Epic,” was all a giddy Joey Licalzi could muster as Ecenia unveiled her contributions to the museum and told behind the scenes tales.
Her gifts included an original script, an autographed photograph of Burton, a crew schedule, photographs of the construction team building the castle at the end of the the cul-de-sac where the museum is located, the prototype for the paper dolls that Edward Scissorhands creates in a scene, and a photograph of the full crew who worked in the Lutz neighborhood.
“I cleaned their dishes,” Licalzi said with a laugh. He was not joking.
Licalzi, who now builds guitar amp cabinets, has a unique connection to the movie. He worked at a nearby Denny’s in 1990 when a producer stopped by with an offer. The movie’s craft services department needed a kitchen at which to wash dishes and a dishwasher.
Licalzi volunteered for the added duty that spanned months.
He was confined to the restaurant kitchen and never saw the set a few miles away, “but I was proud to help,” Licalzi said. “But my friends and family, they thought the story was stupid. The only person who cared was the previous homeowner of this house.”
A little more than a year ago, another house was for sale in the neighborhood. Its exterior was seen in the movie.
“We wanted it,” Licalzi said. “It felt like destiny to live in the “Edward Scissorhands” neighborhood. But our bid was turned down. Then this house went on the market the very next day.”
Licalzi made the first bid and told the realtor of his connection. That was all the previous owner, Susan Linville, needed to hear, Licalzi said. “She turned down cash offers because I was a dishwasher. Can you imagine that? But she knew I would appreciate the house.”
Weeks before officially closing for $230,000, Licalzi and his wife were given the key so they could begin planning their interior design. During their initial visit, Licalzi said, five families of “Edward Scissorhands” fans were circling the block to get a glimpse of the house.
“I was like, ‘Come on in,’” Licalzi said.
Such vehicular fan traffic was a norm for the neighborhood, he said, so they came up with an idea to alleviate that issue while placating fans.
“We decided to offer free tours,” Licalzi said. “Contact us in advance and we will let you inside. But do not circle the block.”
Tours are limited to the yards, kitchen and family room. The bedrooms are off limits because the Licalzi’s live there too.
Fans have donated movie items to the home’s decor — a piece of the actual mushroom wallpaper the home had during filming, a pair of scissors the crew used to trim the dinosaur topiary created by Edward Scissorhands in a scene, and a blade from the scissor hands.
The Licalzis also covered the kitchen walls with new mushroom wallpaper and designed their own funky topiaries. The kitchen counters are old and should be replaced, Licalzi said, but will remain because they date to the movie production.
“Edward Scissorhands used these kitchen counters,” Licalzi said.
Other fans donated original works of art inspired by the movie.
Ecenia provided the largest contribution yet and her stories wowed the superfan homeowners.
“I wish she would write these all down for us,” Licalzi said.
Ecenia owned a business that rented and created props and sets for theatrical productions when she heard that a Hollywood movie was looking for local crew.
“On my resume, I outlined a pair of scissors,” she said. “That is what got me the job.”
Ecenia’s primary jobs were to purchase the props and ensure they were on set and in the right place when the director yelled action.
But she had other duties added to her list.
Depp was a chain smoker, Ecenia said, but couldn’t hold a cigarette with the scissor hands that took too long to take off.
“So, I made a clip that could fix to the scissors and hold a cigarette,” she said.
When Depp discarded cigarettes on the road, neighborhood kids grabbed the litter.
“They were selling the butts for five dollars,” Ecenia said.
When Edward Scissorhands unlocked the home’s front door with his scissor hands, it was Ecenia’s job to open it from the other side.
“He was not really unlocking it,” she said, and then added with a laugh: “I guess that’s what you call movie magic.”
And when Edward Scissorhands was trimming dogs or styling women’s hair, Ecenia was on the ground, tossing hair into the air for effect.
“Again, he was not really cutting hair,” she said.
Licalzi’s favorite tale involved the tented home seen for a moment in the movie.
That was not part of the script, Ecenia said. That home was actually being tented for termites.
Burton “thought it was great,” Ecenia said. “He thought it made the neighborhood look perfect.”
Ecenia estimates she spent three or four months on “Edward Scissorhands,” spanning preproduction through the final scene. She had never returned to the neighborhood until the visit to the museum.
“It was an exciting job,” she said. “But it was still a job. I moved on and went back to my business.”
She retired in 2018, sold her warehouse inventory and then began seeking to unload personal items from her career that were taking up attic space.
“I am confident this is the right place for my “Edward Scissorhands” stuff,” Ecenia said. “I hope everyone who visits appreciates it.”