Industries Hotels/Tourism

‘Lincoln’ trail to highlight film sites

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Flanked by two men dressed as Abraham Lincoln riding Segways, state and local officials today unveiled The LINCOLN Movie Trail,  a tourism campaign designed to capitalize on Virginia’s connections to the Steven Spielberg’s film.

“Lincoln,”  which opens in movie theaters nationwide on Friday, was filmed late last year entirely in Central Virginia, primarily in Richmond and Petersburg. Set during the last months of the Civil War in 1865, the movie stars Daniel Day-Lewis as Lincoln and Sally Field as Mary Todd Lincoln.

Virginia Tourism Corp. has launched an interactive website, listi,ng 40 Virginia sites that either served as locations in the film or were places frequented by actors in the movie.

Rita McCLenny, president and CEO of Virginia Tourism Corp., said the movie trail would allow film fans to “follow in the footsteps of Steven Spielberg, Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, Tommy Lee Jones and James Spader,” the director and major actors in “Lincoln.”

In addition to listing movie-related sites, the website will offer travel packages, special offers and guided tours, including some on Segways.

Trail sites will display signs in their windows or near their entrances announcing “LINCOLN was here.”

The list includes Richmond historic sites such as the Virginia State Capitol and the White House of the Confederacy plus well-known local restaurants such as Millie’s and Can Can Brasserie.

The website initially will be Virginia Tourism’s primary vehicle for promoting the movie trail, but next year the agency will begin an advertising campaign targeting markets such as Boston, New York and Washington, D.C.

In addition,  Spielberg’s studio, DreamWorks, is expected to promote Virginia sites as an added feature when it releases the film on DVD.

McClenny said that, during production, “Lincoln” resulted in $32 million in direct spending, resulting in an economic impact of $64 million.

Last year, movie and television productions had a total economic impact of $394 million in Virginia, an increase of 14.5 percent from 2010.

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