Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Harrison Ford to star in Chattanooga movie at Engel Stadium

CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) -- Mr. Indiana Jones, also known as Harrison Ford, will be shooting his next feature film in the Scenic City.
More specifically, the shoot will happen at historic Engel Stadium, the former home to the Negro League. It makes sense, because it's a film about Jackie Robinson, the first African-American to play in the major leagues.
"It's exciting, I think baseball is an important part of Chattanooga's past," Executive Director of the Chattanooga History Center Daryl Black says.
Black says part of that little known past was Chattanooga's two Negro League teams, the Black Lookouts in the 20s and the Chattanooga Choo-Choo's in the 40s.
While Jackie Robinson himself didn't play for them, a teenager named Willie Mays did.
Black says this movie will bring Engel Stadium's rich history to light.
"It's something as a community that we need to hold onto, to celebrate the significance of that site," Black says.
Lately, the site has been rather sore, but that is about to change, thanks much in part to the movie.
Missy Crutchfield with the city's Education, Arts and Culture Department says Legendary Pictures will spend a few hundred thousand dollars to refurbish the stadium.
The city and county will kick in $25,000 each, chump change compared to what the movie will bring.
"A very small amount, considering what film brings to any city," says Crutchfield.
Crutchfield says the movie will be shot in both north Georgia and Chattanooga. Harrison Ford will be on location, as they plan to start shooting this spring.
Meanwhile, local historian Daryl Black is relishing in the moment.
"Thinking about Jackie Robinson and what it means to be an African-American playing baseball in the early 20th century, it's an important way to think about race and segregation that existed in the United States," Black says.
Crutchfield says Legendary Pictures plans to spend anywhere from $4 to $10-million dollars in Chattanooga alone.
Channel 3 is still waiting to hear when shooting will start and a release date.

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