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ONLY ON 3: Southport Alderman reconsider city's film policies


SOUTHPORT, NC (WWAY) -- As Southport gets set for its starring role in "Safe Haven," city leaders are reconsidering how to handle any future movie shoots.

The debate comes after some residents were not happy with some of the impacts of "Safe Haven" shooting around town last summer.

Southport hopes Thursday's nationwide opening of "Safe Haven" will lead to big attention for the Brunswick County city.

"I think we'll have a lot more visitors and people coming to the area after they see how beautiful the city is in the filming, because the film should be a showcase of our area," Southport Alderman Mary Ellen Poole said.

While many residents were thrilled about the movie shooting in town, others had some issues, like road blocks and fireworks going off at all hours of the night. That has the Southport Board of Aldermen reconsidering the policies it has in place for productions. One topic that will be brought up at Thursday night's meeting is if they should change their ordinances to guidelines.

Southport has been under the same film ordinance for almost 10 years, which prevents any adjustments that most production companies prefer. Changing to guidelines would allow productions to make adjustments to suit their needs.

While some people are happy about this possibly bringing more movie business to town, others do not feel the same.

"I think there were a lot of problems," Poole said. I think that we had some instances where all of the information was not put out to the people that should've known what was happening."

Now aldermen want to know what residents want, as they try to welcome visitors from Hollywood while protecting the people who call Southport home.

The environmental group Save the Cape also has an idea for the future of films in Southport. It wants NC Ports Authority to repurpose 600 acres of undeveloped land near town once planned for an international port. Save the Cape suggests putting it to use for outdoor sets and action scenes.

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