‘Lights, Camera, Louisiana’

Tourism industry launches movie trail to highlight film locations used throughout state

Hollywood has been casting Louisiana as a leading lady for more than a century and the state tourism industry is ready to show her off some more.

Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser announced the launch of the “Lights, Camera, Louisiana” movie trail during a stop Thursday in Lake Charles for his office’s annual travel summit for tourism professionals. 

Nungesser said the movie trail will assist visitors in locating some of the more than 2,500 film locations where Louisiana played a prominent role.

“People want to travel where movies were shot — and where people were shot, like Bonnie and Clyde — right here in Louisiana,” he said with a laugh.

Nungesser said in 2017, 47.1 million people — including 1 million international travelers — visited Louisiana. He said of those, 5 million came because of something they saw on television or in a movie.

“That has an impact on our industry of $1.3 billion,” he said. “With movies like ‘Girls Trip,’ ‘12 Years A Slave,’ ‘Steel Magnolias’ and then ‘Duck Dynasty’ it’s no wonder they’re coming to Louisiana.” 

Nungesser credits the film “Girls Trip” with helping make this year’s Essence Festival in New Orleans the highest attendance ever. 

“People are still looking for that zip line on Bourbon Street,” he said.

He said people continue to visit Natchitoches because of “Steel Magnolias” and West Monroe because of “Duck Dynasty.” Duck Commander has also created an interactive museum at the Robertson family’s headquarters. 

“It’s a great attraction for north Louisiana,” he said. 

Nungesser said the movie trail will showcase the history of filmmaking in Louisiana including New Orleans, where the first indoor seated theater opened in 1896, and Morgan City where “Tarzan of the Apes” was filmed in 1918.

Nungesser said “Tarzan” was one of the first films to earn more than $1 million.

Other films that will be highlighted include “A Streetcar Named Desire,” “The Pelican Brief,” “Monster’s Ball,” “Interview With A Vampire,” “Ray” and “All The King’s Men.”

He said visitors will be able to explore some of the most iconic movies in history and imagine Tom Cruise, Elvis Presley, John Wayne, Dolly Parton, Brad Pitt, Charlton Heston, Jack Nicholson and Julia Roberts in those same spaces.

“What a great opportunity for us in Louisiana to capitalize on those films that were shot in the past,” he said. 

Online: louisianatravel.com

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What makes Louisiana so special is that all the people treat you like family, said Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser at the 2018 travel summit hosted by Golden Nugget in Lake Charles on Thursday, August 23, 2018.

Crystal StevensonEditor
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