The musical drama-comedy, ‘Joyful Noise’ starring Queen Latifah and Dolly Parton, is a film about two strong-minded women who find themselves having to work together in order to save their small-town choir from getting shutdown after budget cuts. The movie’s filmmakers took to several Georgia locations to create the fictional town of Pacashau, GA where the film is set in.
In Newnan, Georgia, one of the homes in the Cole Town historic district on East Broad street was used in the film. It was the Landrum-Blackburn home that was used in one of the scenes, and it was built around 1905 for R.D. Cole Jr, who was the President of Cole Manufacturing. Many of the homes in the Cole Town historic district were built for the members of the R.C. Cole family or for the officials at the nearby manufacturing facility. During the filming on East Broad Street, the area did have to be blocked off. A portion of Thompson Street and Wall Street also had to be shut down for a short time during a scene being filmed that featured one of the characters hitchhiking down the street.
At the Frederick Brown Jr. Amphitheatre on McIntosh Trail in Peachtree City in 2011, the crew of ‘Joyful Noise’ prepared the area for one of the film’s scenes. The Amphitheatre, known as The Fred, is one of the leading outdoor entertainment venues in metro Atlanta. For the film, The Fred was transformed with an addition to the stage area, driving trailers and tents for the cast and crew, and new decorations. The scene involved around 1,600 extras, many of whom were brought in through newspaper advertisements and by reaching out to area churches. Most of the extras were on set to play the audience members during a choir competition scene of the film.
Many places in and around Atlanta were also featured in the film, though not all of them by their original name. The Bethany United Methodist Church on 607 Rivers Road in Fayetteville was used as the fictional Pacashau Divinty Church in the film. Howard’s Deli restaurant at 652 Concord Road in SE Smyrna was featured during a heated scene between the two main characters. A quarry that is seen towards the beginning of the film is actually Bellwood Quarry that is on the west side of Atlanta. Also, the film’s big finale takes place at the Atlanta Civic Center at 395 Piedmont Avenue on the northeast side of downtown.
Hundreds of films have been filmed in Georgia over the past few years. It is estimated that since 2007, a billion dollars has been added to the state’s economy from movie making alone.
‘Joyful Noise’ was released in theaters in January 2012 and is currently available on Blu-ray and DVD.
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