Oscar-nominated 'Three Billboards' movie spotlights Sylva
In May 2016, Hollywood came to Sylva’s Main Street shooting scenes for "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri." There was excitement then and now.
Lisa Patten was an extra and says Woody Harrelson and Frances McDormand, although the big stars were down to earth. and personable. The says, she says, about Sam Rockwell. She's seen the movie twice and says she spotted herself.
“At the top of the steps after Sam Rockwell breaks the glass in the door, he comes up with a gun and has to go by me,” she says.
One day Patten asked someone for directions to the makeup trailer. It turned out to be actor Caleb Landry Jones.
“He says, ‘well, dear lady...I have to go there too. I'll be glad to escort you.’”
Patten was McDormand's stand in.
“She passed out a scarf that she wore in the movie to everybody and it says 3 Billboards on it,” she says.
“It's generating a lot of excitement even two years after the move was filmed,” says Nick Breedlove, with Jackson County’s Tourism Development Office. He says it’s generating money too.
“And they've just continued to rack up the awards and I think it's going to drive visitation to Sylva for quite some time.”
The spotlight is sparking tours. information is available at Jackson County’s Visitors Center.
“Visitors can stop in grab a sheet. It shows them directions to all the locations in the film,” Breedlove says.
Leap Frog Tours based in Waynesville is hopping on the interest with tours to scenes shot at J. Arthurs restaurant in Maggie Valley, and to location in Sylva.
“We'll be able to check out exactly where Red Welby was thrown out of the window by Officer Dixon right out onto Main Street,” says Mark Merritt.
Many watched the Oscars at watch parties at Sylva’s Balsam Falls Brewing Company and The Paper Mill.
Patten watched with extra focus and is cheering for more films shooting locally.
“It puts us on the map and then our tourists come and ...that's great jobs,” she says.