“We’ve all benefited,” said Cedartown City Commissioner Scotty Tillery, who along with Cedartown City Manager Robbie Rokovitz worked closely with the film crew during their stay as liaisons.
“It’s almost like we had a carnival come to town, with free admission,” Rokovitz added.
Director and actor Billy Bob Thornton brought in JMC Productions and Market Films for three days of filming in downtown Cedartown in support of his movie, “Jayne Mansfield’s Car.”
Cedartown’s two biggest motels were both filled to capacity for the three days.
“We have 36 cast members staying here,” said Missy Lieurance, front desk clerk at the Country Hearth Inn.
An employee at Holiday Inn Express said the hotel had filled all 54 of its rooms, primarily with personnel working with the film.
Staff at Knight Ace Hardware, located on Main Street a few blocks south of the main area of filming, said grips and other film employees came in several times for duct tape and a variety of other supplies as the need arose.
The impact on downtown could be very positive in the long-term, Polk County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Tamaka Hudson said.
“There has been a renewed excitement about our downtown area,” Hudson said. “People have rediscovered that small town feeling. … the experience of going into a shop where the person behind the counter knows your name.”
The downtown area received a number of upgrades and improvements that will remain after the film crews are long gone. Several stores received new signage. For example, a handmade cardboard sign on the door at Crickette’s Cake was replaced by a large sign and graphics painted on the storefront, at the film company’s expense.
Music Depot gained a large, painted wood sign on its façade, augmenting its existing signage.