04 Apr Savannah has long history with Hollywood
SAVANNAH, Ga. — A diverse range of locations has made Savannah one of the top filming locations in the country.
Production for motion pictures, television shows and documentaries get a bang for their buck here along the Georgia coast.
A visually stunning historic district, the beach and the inland rural areas have all played a part in making the Hostess City the Hollywood of the South.
“We’ve had a really rich film history dating all the way back to the 19-teens,” says Luciana Spracher, the City of Savannah Municipal Archives Director.
Part of Spracher’s job is collecting, managing, preserving and documenting Savannah’s history. With somewhere in the neighborhood of a thousand films and shows set or shot here, Hollywood is a major part of Savannah’s story.
“When you really start digging in, there’s a lot more back there,” adds Spracher. “Movies love for Savannah isn’t something new we’re experiencing.”
The Savannah Regional Film Commission recently announced that the entertainment production industry generated nearly $207 million in direct spending in the Savannah region in 2022. But over the year, the exposure Savannah gets on the big and little screen, is priceless.
Thousands of visitors flock to the Hostess City each year to experience a piece of the movie magic…..whether that’s seeing a bench once occupied by Forest Gump or taking a walk in the Garden of Good Evil.
Savannah’s movie magic not only casting a spell on fans, but the stars as well.
The late Burt Reynolds made six films in the Peach State, including The Longest Yard and Gator, here in Savannah. He was a Hollywood legend that still looms large today in Savannah. Reynolds love for Savannah stands true today in the form of the gazebo in Whitefield Square, a thank you gift from the Hollywood legend to the city.
“A lot of local people had small roles in the movie Gator including Mayor John Rousakis,” says Spracher. “We actually have a belt buckle in our archives that Burt Reynolds gave to the Mayor.”