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Big Stone Gap experiences movie's "big" debut

By Jonathan Radford, jradford@wcyb.com
Published On: Oct 30 2013 04:22:23 PM CDT
Updated On: Oct 30 2013 06:00:00 PM CDT

The town of Big Stone Gap is on its way to the big screen with the filming of a movie underway.

BIG STONE GAP, Va. -

The town of Big Stone Gap is on its way to the big screen with the filming of a movie underway.

Locals tell News 5 they are excited about the exposure and are glad to be a part of the experience.

The sounds of an old cash register are fitting for the antique shop in downtown Big Stone Gap. Some the antiques and even the store's owner will be in the upcoming movie Big Stone Gap, named after the town.

"They've got lamps, they have gotten a couple of Duncan Phyfe tables, an old Maytag washer, just a bunch of stuff," said store owner Patty Akers.

Akers is also a stand-in actress in the movie. "I'm tickled to death, I'm very proud and honored. Adriana chose us! She could have done this anyplace, but she did it here in her hometown," said Akers.

Adriana Trigiani wrote the book Big Stone Gap back in 2001.

In the next 6 weeks Akers can watch this novel play out from her store window. "Adriana has given Big Stone Gap and the entire region a wonderful gift. This could last for many years. It is up to us, not only Big Stone, but our entire region, to do what we can with this gift," said Jack Mack, a set builder on the film.

Jack Mack has lived in Big Stone Gap all of his life and he's had a hand in building parts of the movie, set like the old Mutual Pharmacy building.

Mack tells News 5 he doesn't mind the work because he hopes this movie will bring more exposure to the community, thus helping the economy. "Once this thing hits the movie theaters there will be a tsunami of people coming to our region. The potential economics of this, especially during the economically-distressed time, will go along in turning things around," said Mack.

Big Stone Gap Productions tells News 5 that up to 80 people from the production crew and cast are in town at one time.

The city of Big Stone Gap expects this surge of people could bring in tens of thousands of dollars into the economy.

The crew will likely be in town six more weeks. The movie is expected to be released in 2014.