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Georgia’s movie industry still raking in big bucks


Business is booming for production houses around the state of Georgia, including Coweta County.

The movie industry had a $9.5 billion dollar economic impact on the state during the 2017 fiscal year.

The positive monetary effect was the focus of a panel discussion at the October NuLink Early Bird Forum.

Newnan-Coweta Chamber President and CEO Candace Boothby led the conversation with Mitch Seabaugh, former State Senator and former Senate Majority Whip; Scott Tigchelaar, President of Senoia Enterprises Inc. and Nic & Norman’s Inc.; and Greg Torre, deputy commissioner of marketing and communications with the Georgia Department of Economic Development.

Senoia saw huge financial gains as the TV show “The Walking Dead” continued to grow in popularity. The cable channel AMC purchased the Senoia studio where the show is filmed. Network executives bought the studio for $8.25 million dollars in July.

The studio was built in 1989 as Riverwood Studios by Paul Lombardi, Tigchelaar’s uncle and Joe Lombardi, Paul’s father, who was well-known for his special effects work in Hollywood.

Tigchelaar said the Lombardis looked at where production was going, “and it was going to Georgia.” But in the 1990s, the movie industry was dying here and they couldn’t give away the studio space, he added.

State officials began to understand the positive economic impact of the movie industry when “Deliverance” was filmed in North Georgia in 1972, stated Torre.

See more at Times-Herald.


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