St Marys Film Museum Scheduled to Open in April

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St. Marys, GA—Where does one go to find a skull from “Pirates of the Caribbean,” or a mummy leg from Universal Pictures’ “The Mummy”? One could go to a Hollywood studio’s bone yard or, perhaps, a major prop warehouse. Or for those who live in or visit the Coastal Georgia area, they can simply go to the new St. Marys Film Museum at 300 Osborne Street in Downtown St. Marys, Georgia.

The St. Marys Film Museum, a new addition to the line-up of attractions in St. Marys, will open Saturday, April 16 and continue to be open, thereafter, every Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Film Museum is a project of the Coastal Georgia Film Alliance (CGFA), the organization responsible for bringing the recent filming of “Eye of the Hurricane,” (a feature film starting Campbell Scott and Melanie Lynskey), and two TV pilot projects to the area. According to CGFA Co-founder and Chair, Doug Vaught, the museum exemplifies part of the organization’s mission to “encourage education and appreciation of the film industry.”

“The Film Museum is a project we’ve been working on since the inception of the Film Alliance in 2010,” Vaught said. “And now, thanks to the support and contributions by local citizens and the hard work of the Film Alliance board of directors, the museum has come to life.” Vaught cited Joe and Terra Lucent as one example of the many people who came forward to bring the attraction to the city. The Lucents donate the space where the Film Museum is housed.

Displays such as the skull and the mummy’s leg, along with others that include boots worn in “Armageddon” and memorabilia from blockbusters like “Sea Biscuit” and “Angels and Demons,” were purchased with funds raised at last fall’s Hollywood Nights Film Gala. Other items including a Mary Pickford display and circa 1920s theater architectural elements were contributed by local supporters of the museum.

Barbara Ryan, Film Alliance Co-founder and Vice Chair, said kudos should go to all those who have stepped forward to help create such an interesting attraction that both visitors and residents can enjoy.

“It’s a little sliver of Hollywood right here in the Low Country,” Ryan said. “Our plans are to have revolving exhibits so that residents will have a reason to visit the museum several times a year. Ryan (who is also Chair of the St. Marys Convention & Visitors Bureau) said that the museum will enhance an already impressive collection of museum experiences that draw tourists to St. Marys.

“We already have the Submarine Museum, the Orange Hall House Museum, and the Cumberland Island National Seashore Museum,” Ryan said. “Add to that the museum-like experiences that visitors can enjoy at the Cumberland Island Visitors Center and the new St. Marys Welcome Center, and you’ve got more museum attractions than many towns four times the size of St. Marys.”

Ryan said the new museum will help St. Marys compete with other destinations for the treasured tourism dollars that help fuel the local economy. St. Marys Tourism Director Angela Wigger agreed.

“The number of visitors to our welcome center has skyrocketed since we set up our new location near the waterfront,” Wigger said. “Having the Film Museum will give our visitors one more reason to explore our city and discover all our great shops and restaurants.”

St. Marys Film Museum Curator Kelly Davis said a cadre of volunteers helped set up the museum. “I even drafted my husband,” Davis said.
Scott Davis built the display stands that showcase the Hollywood props.

The public is invited to an open house at the St. Marys Film Museum at 300 Osborne Street on Saturday, April 16, from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Refreshments will be served, and a dedication ceremony and ribbon cutting will be held at noon. Anyone who would like to volunteer to staff the Film Museum should call Kelly Davis at 912-674-4052. For more information about the Coastal Georgia Film Alliance, visit www.coastalgeorgiafilm.org.

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