It’s no secret that the film industry is huge in Georgia. Tax incentives and high production costs in Hollywood have moved many studios and set locations to the Southeast, and it’s no coincidence that a frequent choice is Savannah. Even if you are familiar with a few of the most popular films in Savannah, you may not know that film is actually a huge part of the local economy. At any given point, there are likely several movies in production in Savannah. Let’s take a look at some of the places that have made Savannah the iconic location for film that it is today.
The Mercer-Williams House
Formerly known as the Mercer House, the Mercer-Williams House takes its name for the real-life events that transpired following the murder of the homeowner, Danny Lewis Hansford. Jim Williams, the only person in the state of Georgia to be tried four times for the same crime, was portrayed by Kevin Spacey in the film, “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil”, which used the Mercer-Williams House and the Bonaventure Cemetery for many scenes. The Mercer-Williams House was also featured in the 1989 Oscar-winning film, “Glory” featuring Denzel Washington, Morgan Freeman and Matthew Broderick.
There are few sets as iconic as the bus stop bench in Forrest Gump. Greenbow, Alabama isn’t a real place. Sorry if that’s a spoiler, but you’ve had 25 years. The famous bus stop bench from the motion picture classic is set in front of Chippewa Square, one of Savannah’s most celebrated and historic squares. If you’re expecting to sit with your box of chocolates, you’ll to have to visit the Savannah History Museum to see the real bench. Though you won’t find the actual bench in Chippewa Square, you can still go there and recreate it for yourself.
Tybee Island Wedding Chapel
“The Last Song”, featuring Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth, is a film adapted from a Nicholas Sparks novel and was partially set in a chapel that was constructed specifically for the movie. This beautiful setting has become a permanent fixture on Tybee Island and you can visit most days of the week. The chapel is also frequently used as a popular wedding venue, so if you feel like walking down the aisle in Savannah, it would be a great place to start your search.
There are so many ways to enjoy Savannah on and off-screen. What are you waiting for? Stop looking at this screen. Book your stay in Savannah today!
The popular 90’s movie “Something to Talk About”, starring Julia Roberts, Dennis Quaid and Robert Duvall tells the story of a husband and wife in a struggling relationship. This classic English pub is frequented by people looking to relive the pivotal scene where Roberts’ character discovers that her relationship is in trouble. Visitors also flock to the pub to see the London-style phone booth, just outside.
Lucas Theatre for the Arts
It’s likely that if you’re walking around downtown Savannah, you’re walking across what was or is currently a set for movies or television shows. Broughton Street is one of those places, used for so many sets that it’s hard to count. But more significant to film is the Lucas Theatre for the Arts, a historical and cherished piece of Savannah located on Abercorn Street, just off Broughton. After being completely revived to its original glory, the Lucas Theatre now features a wide range of classic and modern film.
Movie Tours, Film Festivals and More
If you really want to get a taste of the Savannah film scene, you can take a Movie Tour of Savannah’s Historic District. See many of the locations mentioned above on a 1.5-hour guided tour, offering a look into many famous films, including “Forrest Gump”, “The General’s Daughter”, “The Legend of Bagger Vance” and “Something to Talk About” (among many others).
Savannah is also home to many film festivals such as the SCAD Film Festival, which has been a staple event of the Savannah College of Art and Design for over 20 years. It has proven to be one of the country’s most engaging showcases, showing off both independent and student film.
Don’t miss out on all the action in Savannah. Book your stay today – and don’t forget your camera!