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Hollywood Comes To South Carolina:
A Century of Filmmaking in the Palmetto State


Mark Tiedje and John Coles
Mark Tiedje and John Coles at Opening Event

Columbia, SC - January 12, 2008

The gala opening event for the South Carolina State Museum's newest exhibit included search lights, a red carpet, Hollywood star look-a-likes arriving in a stretch limousine, live radio broadcasts, and warm greetings from the museum's staff.

The "stars" were greeted by former WIS-TV news anchor, Joe Pinner, amid bright flashes from the "paparazzi" cameras. WTCB radio's on-air personality, Tony Clyburn, broadcast periodic observations and interviews throughout the evening.

Entering the museum, we immediately noticed the smell of fresh popcorn. That attention to detail carried throughout the exhibit. We were given a personal tour of the exhibit by design staff member Jake Brown. His description of the planning, design, and construction of the exhibit added a fascinating dimension to the experience.


We were delighted with the overall layout of the exhibition. The area is spacious. We were able to view items from a distance or very close up. This came in handy when we wanted to see things in detail like the "fat suit" worn by Eddie Murphy in "The Nutty Professor 2" It also helped when we wanted to take in the full-size model of the Hunley submarine from the 1999 TV movie "The Hunley" (nearly 45 feet in length) or the real 1920's era fire engine used in the TV miniseries "Chiefs."

The exhibition includes costumes, photographs, props, scripts, film clips, historical artifacts, scale models, film production equipment and interactive displays. We loved sitting in the 1927 Oldsmobile and seeing ourselves super-imposed over a moving background by "green screen" technology.

The exhibition is very well organized. It is about so much more than the movies made in South Carolina. While it is impressive to read the long list of films made here, it is equally impressive to see how this complex subject is interpreted by the skilled museum staff. The exhibit explains how movies are made and why production companies come to South Carolina to make them.

Our only disappointment was that author and film historian, Frank Thompson, who got us involved in this project over a year ago, wasn't with us to share in the opening festivities. He was physically in California. But, he was with us in spirit.

From silents to Cinemascope, from adventure films to documentaries, this exhibit covers who, what, when, how and why without leaving the visitor bored or confused. We encourage everyone to attend. We believe you will be entertained and delighted. Those who are passionate about films and filmmaking will want to go several times. That won't be a problem as the exhibit runs through October 19, 2008. Click Here for details.

Tony Clyburn
Tony Clyburn, WTBC radio personality listens to a Drive-In speaker.

Mark in 1927 Oldsmobile
Mark "test drives" 1927 Oldsmobile in front of "Green Screen."


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