A Little Hollywood in Virginia Drives Tourism One Penny at a Time

He’s on every penny in your pocket, but the legacy of Abraham Lincoln continues to add up to big dollars.

That’s one of the key takeaways shared by Andrew Edmunds of the Virginia Film Office about Steven Spielberg’s decision to film “Lincoln” in the Commonwealth. Edmunds shared his insights at a Public Relations Society of Richmond chapter meeting on March 28, 2012.

About the film

This major motion picture about America’s 16th President will feature two-time Academy Award winner Daniel Day-Lewis as Lincoln, Sally Field as Mary Todd Lincoln, and Tommy Lee Jones as Thaddeus Stevens. 

“It is anticipated that the film will focus on the political collision of Lincoln and the powerful men of his cabinet on the road to abolition and the end of the Civil War,” stated a 2010 news release by DreamWorks Studios. The studio has not yet named a release date, but a premiere in Richmond is expected.

Investing in film

This Hollywood magic reportedly was more than eight years in the making, according to Edmunds with the VFO. The incentive package included $1 million from the Governor’s Motion Picture Opportunity Fun, $2.5 million from the Virginia Motion Picture Tax Credit program and $1.1 million in in-kind contributions.

A Twitter recap via Storify

Read this Storify recap (or watch it below as a slideshow) of Edmunds' presentation about how all those Lincoln pennies added up to a positive impact on the Virginia economy with additional tax dollars, jobs and tourism spending.