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Submitted by WWAY on Wed, 08/22/2007 - 5:17pm.

You probably know Wilmington is home to TV shows like Dawson's Creek and one tree hill. But what you might not know is Wilmington is home to more than 400 other movie and television productions. Richard Gere and Diane Lane are just a few Hollywood stars who have called Wilmington home while recently filming movies here. They are among hundreds of actors and actresses who have walked the same streets you do every day. LA it's not but downtown Wilmington is considered by many to be Hollywood East. That's because nearly everywhere you walk downtown was once part of a movie or TV set. John Hirchak started the Downtown Hollywood tours after years of researching the more than 400 movie and television productions that have come and gone through Wilmington. Hirchak said, "Most people can't believe the volume of film and TV work in downtown Wilmington, especially when you look, we are third in film revenue only behind New York City and LA and I always remind them they are a wee bit larger than Wilmington." Some Wilmington hot-spots actually started as a production set. Tour guide Stan Wood said, "If you go into Hell's Kitchen most people don't realize that place was just used as a site used to be a bar on a TV show" While we don't have a walk of fame, we are home to "A Walk to Remember." Hirchak said "Up on level five this is the building that Dennis Hopper renovated and purchased at his own expense. When they renovated it they found a theatre on the fifth floor that nobody remembered was even up there, and this is where they shot 'A Walk to Remember,' all of the stage scenes where Shane West and Mandy Moore kissed for the first time" While in town filming "Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood," a tipsy Ashley Judd brought down the house at the Rhino. Hirchak said, "Now, this isn't while filming, she just decided to go she has a couple drinks at the bar, its karaoke night and she steps up and starts singing karaoke." From the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to Julia Roberts -- no matter where you walk downtown, chances are you're following in someone's famous footsteps. For more info visit http://www.hollywoodnc.com/

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