Covington and Newton County is rightly labeled “the Hollywood of the South.” To celebrate this rich heritage a “pop up” museum has opened on the west side of the Square between the Bread and Butter Bakery and McKibben Music Store. It is opened currently on Monday and Thursday thru Saturday, 11 a.m. till 6 p.m.
It first opened on July 1 and will remain in its current location for at least six months. It is a great way to show guest why we are known as the Hollywood of the South.
The sign on the door tells you this is the first television and film museum in Georgia. Upon entering you will notice the emphasis in on the recently-wrapped “Vampire Dairies.” Of the nine selfie stations available, eight are scenes from the Vampire Dairies, the other is from the “In the Heat of the Night.”
You can get a selfie made while sitting in the library of Mystic Falls High School. You can even turn through the year book. You can step around the corner and be at Whitmore College from the series. Of course if you are really “brave” you can get behind the actual door from the dungeon at the Salvatore Mansion. Another set up you can get pictured in the wedding scene from the last season of the show. The actual carpet used leads down to the “altar”. There is also signs from the Medical Center of Mystic Falls.
On display are many of the wedding dresses that were tried on for the program. As well as much of the signage Vampire Diaries and also other shows as well. You will also be able to see many of the costumes used in the production of the series.
Volunteers will staff this museum. If you are interested in helping tell our story of being the “Hollywood of the South” you can contact Jenny McDonald, director of tourism and marketing, at the Chamber to volunteer. The phone number at the Chamber is 770-786-7339.
Jenny has been busy collecting and curating items from many of the local productions for this new pop-up museum. If you have some items from a local production stored away, give her a call. You can either donate it to the museum or loan it. The collections from the various shows and movies will be refreshed as more comes available.
The hours that the museum is open will expand as interest grows. If you have out of town guest until then and need to go on a day that the museum is not opened, contact Jenny at the Chamber.
As you wander through the museum you will discover artifacts from other shows produced local. You get a selfie from behind the actual jail door in “In the Heat of the Night.” There is a display from the archives of The Covington News showing production scenes of “the Heat of the Night.” There is also a display of costumes from the TV show, “Sleepy Hallow.”
Our area has a very rich film history. It began in 1954, with part of “A Man Called Peter” being shot here. That movie featured Richard Todd and Jean Peters. We were one of the first communities in the state to be declared, “Camera Ready”. We have seen parts of almost 100 different Hollywood productions shot here. That list includes, “Remember the Titans,” “Selma,” “Miracles from Heaven,” “Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors,” and “Madea’s Family Reunion.”
You will find a display of behind the scenes photographs from both “Miracles from Heaven” and “Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors.” See what it was like to be on the set as the movies were produced right here in Covington.
To stay in-the-know on all things Covington in film and television production go to @GoCovingtonGAa. You will find information there about the Museum as well as the soon to come Three Ring Studio.
Stop by when you are on the Square and tour the museum. As the hour of operation grows, you will find the times listed on the front door. The admission is only $5. All the funds raised will support this effort to tell our community’s story as the “Hollywood of the South.”