First movie filmed in Wilmington released 35 years ago

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Firestarter

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — It’s been 35 years since Firestarter, the first movie ever filmed in the Cape Fear, was released.

A picture of Orton Plantation, featured in this Southern Accents Magazine from 1983, caught the attention of Frank Capra Jr., who was searching for a place to film the movie.

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The decision to film here became the first step in creating what would become an industry.

Producer Dino De Laurentiis liked the area so much he built a movie studio here, which is now Screen Gems.

Since then, more than 350 films, TV shows, and commercials have been shot in the area.