Film industry brings money, exposure to Southeastern NC
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WILMINGTON — North Carolina's action packed film industry is giving some small cities and towns a chance to shine.
This week, productions in the state are expected to spend more than $300 million and that could rise. Ryan's Port Market is the fictitious store on Southport's yacht basin built for the movie Safe Haven. However neighboring restaurants say it is bringing in real business.
"A lot of people from our neighboring areas, Ocean Isle Beach, Holden Beach have been taking their boats down just to get a little peak at what's going on, they got to get lunch at some point," said Eric Gushue, a server and manager at Yacht Basin Eatery.
Gushue said the production is great exposure for the restaurant that is working through its first full summer in business. From locals to visitors to the crew and stars, Gushue said they are serving them all.
Film industry officials said about two-thirds of the $300 million expected to be spent is coming to Southeastern North Carolina. That money goes towards expenditures such as goods and services, equipment rentals, and crew salaries. However industry officials said that does not include money spent in small restaurants and shops which can have an even bigger impact.
"Somebody being here for several months, they're going to spend money, they're going to eat somewhere, they need entertainment while they are here, they'll take part in activities in the community while they are here," said
Johnny Griffin with the Wilmington Regional Film Commission
On the businesses side, officials are excited for what they future holds because unlike other movies shot in Southport, this production is not only using the city as a backdrop; it is where the actual story takes place.
"People still come from movies in the 90's asking about the place so it's going to be neat," said manager at Provision Company Justin May.
The movie production has also rented out The Old American Fish Company for filming. It's recently been renamed Ivan's Fish Shack and is closed for shooting until August 9.