Film production transforms downtown Madison
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MADISON, N.C. -- Stargazers filled the streets of Madison on the first day of summer, all waiting to catch a glimpse or snap a photo of one of the movie's big stars, like Owen Wilson, Zach Galifianakis and Amy Poehler.
"This area doesn't get that kind of activity, so everybody coming down. That's really something different to see," said spectator Ashley Venable.
For some it's a chance to be an extra.
"I was extremely excited. It was a lot of fun," movie extra Maggie Carpenter said.
Some extras played members of the Amish community for the film that takes place in Pennsylvania. Not a usual sight in North Carolina, crews worked to transform Madison into the fictitious town of Aronburg.
"The transformations of the old buildings have been exciting to see," Avon store owner Charity Naud said.
Especially for a town that has seen a lot of shops turn into vacant buildings.
"It's just dying out. People are not coming to Madison. They go to other larger towns," said Floral Creations owner Nancy Coleman.
With hundreds of crew members and spectators flocking the streets of Madison, local businesses have been feeling a boost. Bob's Restaurant has been feeding dozens of crew members.
"We actually fed 90 of them last night, so it's been really good for us," said manager Matt Bullins.
"I think it's great that we have this opportunity to bring in some of our Hollywood stars and bring them in here locally for our little town," Naud said.
Locals said they hope the interest will stick around even after the film crew is gone.
"And making Madison into a place to make movies and will bring more people into town and to open up new businesses," Coleman said.
The Piedmont Triad Film Commission recruited the film to the area and they said the movie will continue to travel the Piedmont for the duration of production.