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New head of Virginia Tourism Corp. named

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Gov. Bob McDonnell used the Richmond screening of the Steven Spielberg film “Lincoln” as the occasion to name the new leader of Virginia Tourism Corp., the state’s tourism marketing arm.

Rita McClenny, director of the Virginia Film Office since 1991, was promoted to president and CEO of Virginia Tourism. She had been serving as interim head of the organization since Alisa Bailey, the former president and CEO,  left in April to become president and CEO of the Charleston Convention and Visitors Bureau in West Virginia .

Screenings of “Lincoln” were held in Richmond and Petersburg Thursday night while the movie’s Hollywood premiere was taking place in Los Angeles.

The movie starring Daniel Day-Lewis concerns Lincoln’s last months in office in 1865.

The film opens in limited release on Friday and will be in theaters nationwide on Nov. 16.

Spielberg shot the film in Richmond and Petersburg last year, capping a nine-year courtship by state officials.

McDonnell said the production company spent $32.4 million in Virginia, creating a total economic impact of $64.1 million. The movie created jobs for nearly 1,200 actors and extras and 380 crew members.

In 2011, the film and television industry had a $394.4 million economic impact on the commonwealth, an increase of 14.5 percent from 2010. The industry created 3,817 jobs last year.

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