Durham lands role as film set

Staff WriterFebruary 4, 2009 

— The Bull City will be in the movie spotlight once again.

Shooting for "Main Street" is set to begin on March 16. The movie focuses on a "group of residents of a small, economically moribund American city facing the consequences of change," according to Variety magazine. Thom Mount, a Durham native who produced "Bull Durham," is one of the producers.

Horton Foote wrote "Main Street" after visiting Durham two years ago. Foote, 93, won Oscars for adapting "To Kill a Mockingbird" into a 1962 movie and for writing the screenplay for the 1983 movie "Tender Mercies."

Durham participates in a database that helps movie makers find locations, but in this case, the producers already had a feel for the city, said Reyn Bowman, president and CEO of the Durham Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Durham shooting is expected to last a month. Bowman believes shooting will take place either near or in downtown. It will be the 26th feature movie shot in Durham, he said.

Bowman estimates that up to $10 million will be spent in the city, from food to lodging to enlisting local businesses for help.

"It would be like four or five conventions being held here," he said. "It gives us credibility for future film productions. It also exposes the community's unique sense of place. Often in movies we play Boston or New York or other places, but it will still be widely known where the film was shot. And that's what we call a billboard effect. It will go on for years, just like it did in 'Bull Durham.' "

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