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Online Romance Reality Show's 'Love Prison' on Island Off Connecticut

07/12/2014 17:55
The latest reality show about love, or heartbreak—or both—is coming this August from the A&E cable network and it's set in Connecticut—on one of the Thimble Islands, those tiny, exclusive, valuable pieces of land surrounded by Long-Island Sound.
The show, whose working title is "Love Prison," will reportedly debut with 10 episodes. The only information about the show currently posted online by A&E is part of a larger news item posted online a while back:
One in three relationships begin online, with many people not meeting in person for months or even years. But are these relationships real? In this unique social experiment, online couples meet for the first time on a remote island. “Love Prison” is a lone cabin rigged with fixed cameras; there are no visible producers, no visible cameraman and no escape! Cameras capture the couple for a week, with an all-access look at everything from their first kiss to their first fight. Each couple spend(s) their week together determining whether or not the person they know online matches up with the reality and if they want to continue their relationship or move on. At the end of the experiment, the new couple has a decision to make; will they leave the “Love Prison” together or call it quits?
According to a Shoreline Times story, "Love Prison" is being filmed on Belden Island, one of 300 small islands off the coast of Branford. Belden Island has just one house on just over an acre of land in Long Island Sound.
The island is listed for sale by Sotheby's International Realty, with an asking price of $3.95 million.(Above, a photo of the house on Belden Island from the Sotheby's listing page.)
From the Shoreline Times story:
According to the real estate website curbed.com, the island is currently owned by “Christine Svenningsen, widow of party-goods magnate John Svenningsen (he founded Amscan Inc., billed as ‘the largest designer, manufacturer and distributor of decorated party goods and party accessories in the world’).” Curbed says she “spent $36M amassing a collection of nine Thimble Islands...”
It was the second-to-last island that Svenningsen purchased — she paid $2.77M for it in 2006, the website notes. Svenningsen is known as the "Island Lady" and married and divorced John G. Chiarella, Jr., a landscaping entrepreneur who manages her Thimbles Islands (nine in all) in recent years, according to the Branford Eagle.
An earlier Associated Press story says that Svenningsen is also selling Jepson Island for nearly $2 million. Both islands are part of the Thimble Islands chain off Branford which have attracted legends and celebrities for generations. Both are listed with William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty.
On William Pitt Sotheby’s website, it notes that the Belden Island home is fueled by propane, and heated by a wood and coal stove. The estimated taxes on the property are $18,626.
The website waxes on about the romance of the place: “Magical island summer cottage. Extraordinary vintage classic offers original wainscoted walls and ceilings, gas lights, fireplaces and wraparound porches overlooking manicured putting green lawn, windswept pines and new dock!”

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