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Miracles From Heaven: Scenes Filmed In Newton County

Miracles From Heaven: Scenes Filmed In Newton County

Covington is branded The Original Hollywood of the South because of the many film productions that took place here. A few years ago, an inspirational movie was released that was based on the a story. Miracles From Heaven hit the big screen in March of 2016 and has several scenes that were filmed in Covington. Miracles From Heaven is based on the true story of a mother discovering her 10-year-old daughter Anna has a rare, incurable disease. She becomes a ferocious advocate for her daughter’s healing as she searches for a solution. After Anna has a freak accident, an extraordinary miracle unfolds in the wake of her dramatic rescue that leaves medical specialists mystified, her family restored and their community inspired.



Miracles From Heaven features several famous actors alongside Jennifer Garner, including John Carroll Lynch and Queen Latifah. In Miracles From Heaven, Covington was set to pose as a small town in Texas. Did you know that the Beam family’s white farmhouse is actually in Covington? The house was built in 2007 and is situated on 7 acres with wood farm fencing for privacy, along with a small barn with 5 pet pigs and 5 pet goats. This home sits at the end of a scenic, picturesque dirt road surrounded by rolling land, trees and creek within walking distance. The property is very private, the perfect place for filming with a large crew and equipment. During the filming of Miracles from Heaven, several hundred crew members, cast members, large equipment, trucks and food service trucks fit easily on the property. A helicopter scene with multiple firetrucks was also shot in the front pasture of the house. The homeowners are film-friendly and open to short and long term filming options. 


Covington will continue to be home for more and more films. Film lives here. If you are visiting our town stop by the Visitors Center at 2101 Clark Street for more information on self guided tours.


FootLoose Filmed in Covington

FootLoose (2011) is a modernization of the classic 1984 film that goes by the same name. The updated version was directed by Craig Brewer and stars Kenny Wormald, Julianne Hough, and Dennis Quaid. Looking to keep the small-town vibe of the original, the production was initially planned to be filmed in Tennessee; however Georgia’s southern charm and filming in continues brouught to the to Covington. The story follows Ren McCormack a newcomer to Bomont, Georgia, who discovers that the town has banned music and dancing as a result of a previous traffic accident that lead to the death of several teenagers who were attending a party.

While the filming took place all over Georgia from Kennesaw to Franklin, The Hollywood of the South ,aka Covington, found itself as a location for a pivotal scene. The town hall meeting scene in the movie was filmed in our Historical Newton County courthouse, which sits on the northwest side of Covington square. Footloose is just one of over 100 film and television productions that have utilized Newton County and Covington. Come visit Hollywood of the South this summer!


Get Low Scenes Filmed in Covington

Get Lowis a film released in 2009 starring Robert Duvall, Sissy Spacek, Bill Murray, Lucas Black and Gerald McRaney.  Directed by Aaron Schneider, Get Low is equal parts folk-tale, fable and real-life legend set in Tennessee in the 1930s.  The story follows hermit Felix Bush, who famously throws his own funeral party while he is still alive!

Like many productions, Get Lowutilized Covington’s older southern aesthetic.  Places like Gaither Plantation offer unique architecture that is integral to the filming industry.

As many in the film community are aware, there is always time to have a good time in Covington so plan your trip today!

Dukes of Hazzard Film Locations at Oxford College

Newton County has an extensive history in the film industry and perhaps its first notable entry is the TV Series The Dukes of Hazard by Gy Waldron. Waldron directed a film called Moonrunners in 1975 which had a similar premise and inspired him to go on and create Dukes of Hazard. The TV series focused on two cousins, Bo and Luke Duke, who lived in the fictional rural area of Georgia known as Hazzard County, Oxford College, not surprisingly, provided a few great filming locales for the now iconic television show.

The first location that Oxford College provided was Seney Hall. This is probably one of the most recognizable buildings at the college and it was featured in the opening credits of almost every episode. This is where the General Lee made its very first jump on November 11th 1978. The jump distance was 81 feet.

In a scene from ‘One Armed Bandits’ you can see the same tree (above) where the “Honest John Ledbetter” poster was put up. This is in front of Candler Hall at Oxford College. Not the tennis court in the background- is still there. Dukes also used the inside of Candler Hall for filming. Chandler Hall was used as the Civic & Fraternal Club, and also in the scenes where Boss Hogg and Rosco overlooked the room with the slot machines (below).

The Dukes of Hazzard had a seven-season run from 1979-1985 and , although only the first five episodes where shot here, made a huge impact on Film Tourism for Covington/Newton County. If you find yourself in Oxford and are a fan of the series make sure to check out these sights. You will feel as if you were in “in original” Hazzard County with Bo and Lu

Filmed in Covington: Madea’s Family Reunion

Being The Original Hollywood of the South R, we are proud to have so many film productions choose Covington and with Georgia being  the number one filming state in thr country, there seems to be no end in sight! Some of the most popular films that chose are Remember The Titans, Sweet Home Alabama and My Cousin Vinny. But did you know that Tyler Perry filmed some of Madea’s Family Reunion in our town? They even have their own paver on our famous Walk of Stars. 


Madea’s Family Reunion is just one of the many of the popular Tyler Perry productions in the Madea series. In Madea’s Family Reunion an outspoken grandmother plans her family reunion as she tries to solve her family’s personal dramas. As a writer and director, Perry alongside Blair Underwood and Lynn Whitfield. Almost all Perry’s television and film productions have a strong Georgia presence and focus. He saw (and featured) the beauty of Covington in this movie.  


Gaither Plantation was used as the family home and reunion segement in the film. In many scenes, you can recognize the 159-year-old cotton plantation. Gaither Planation is one of the few remaining examples of mid- 19thcentury farms in north Georgia. The plantation is comprised of a plantation house, a log smokehouse, a hay barn and two 19th century cemeteries. 

If you would like to tour Gaither Planation they have tours available by appointment on their website.  If you are interested in self-guided tours visit The Covington Visitors Center at 2101 Clark Street located right off the Covington Square, can provide many self-guided tours options for your visit. 




10 Reasons Why Covington is The Original Hollywood of the South

Covington has been branded “The Original Hollywood of the South” for quite a while now. You are constantly hearing us and other refer to locals as this but do you really know why? It’s not just because The Vampire Diaries filmed here. Don’t get us wrong, we love our Vampires but there is more to Covington than just being #ForeverMysticFalls. We are bringing you 10 reasons, in no particular order why Covington is “The Original Hollywood of the South”



  1. Rich History and Antebellum Homes/Mansions


Covington has many beautiful historic homes that make you take a step back in time. All around Covington you can see historical buildings and historic markers that tell about the history of our great town. The historical aspect of our town is one of the main reasons location scouts love Covington.


  1. Film Incentives


It is said that Georgia has one of the best film incentive programs in the US. Georgia offers a 20% tax rebate for productions shot in the state with an additional 10% for those who include the Georgia “Peach State” logo in its credits.


  1. Geographical Features


Newton County’s 5 cities’ geographically features make it perfect for filming many scene types. Porterdale has the Yellow River. Covington has a beautiful downtown square with an iconic clock tower. Oxford is home to a small college. Mansfield/Newborn has country roads with lots of barns and farms.

best places in mystic falls


  1. Past Film Productions


Tourists flock to small town for its rich film history. TV shows like The Dukes of Hazzard, In the Heat of the Night and most recently The Vampire Diaries, helped put Covington on the map. Also, many films have been produced in our quaint town. Covington has become one of the crown jewel of Georgia for filming.


  1. Less Expensive Amenities


Its already expensive enough to shoot a movie but when it comes to amenities, Georgia is less expensive. Restaurants, supermarkets, transportation, utilities, rent, and more are much more affordable in Georgia. According to Shofur Technologies, food is 8% cheaper and entertainment is 17% cheaper compared to Los Angeles. So, by shooting in Covington your saving some extra bucks when it comes to feeding and housing your crew.




  1. Economic Growth


In 2017 Nathan Deal announced that film and television productions generated over $9 billion in economic impact. Because so many movies are being filmed here and they are doing well in the box office, this sets an example and makes others want to film their movie or television shows here. Television productions, like The Vampire Diaries was a huge hit and The Walking Dead still is have become HUGE hits and their filming locations are as well.



  1. Film Studio


Covington is in the process of building a film studio that will be a great asset to add to Covington. Three Ring Studio is going to be a 160 acres’ film studio divided into three campuses. Three Ring Studios is located conveniently close to Atlanta transportation, entertainment, and business, but far enough to allow you to work without interruption.


  1. Less Extreme Weather


Even though Georgia has unpredictable weather, it’s not extreme like other states. With Georgia’s mild winters and temperate climate, you can shoot anytime for almost any scene.



  1. Local Colleges/ Schools


Education is always important and Covington luckily has three colleges right here. Oxford College of Emory University is in the city of Oxford and is convenient for filming scenes that need a college backlot. We also have Georgia State University Newton Campus as well as Georgia Piedmont Technical College. Besides these college we have many high schools that have been used for filming in the past.


  1. Tours


Because we have so many tourists that come to see where their favorite show was filmed we have guided and self-guided tours available. One popular tour is the Mystic Falls Tour. It takes you around Covington to see popular spots from the hit TV show The Vampire Diaries. What makes this different is you get behind the scenes stones that you can’t get just from a map. This tour also is the map. This tour also is the only approved tour that has access to the Lockwood Mansion. For more information on self-guided tours stop by the Newton County Visitors Center located at 2101 Clark Street right off the Square.

economic impact of film






My Cousin Vinny Scenes Filmed in Newton County

There are so many film productions that have called Newton County home, it’s hard to mention all of them but we can try. One movie that filmed scenes here in the Hollywood of the South is “ My Cousin Vinny”. This movie was the 1992 Oscar winner for Best Supporting Actress.

“My Cousin Vinny” is the story of two New York University students, Bill Gambini (Ralph Macchio) and Stanley Rothenstein (Mitchell Whitfield), who win scholarships to UCLA. However, the duo gets into trouble after they decided to take a drive through the heart of Dixie. Once they are in Alabama, they stop at a local convenience store to pick up a few snacks, but are suddenly arrested! The two men have been accused of murder and robbery and have found that they are facing execution for the crimes. Bill and Stan don’t have enough money for a lawyer, so they are forced to call Bill’s cousin Vinny (played by Joe Pesci). Unfortunately for the pair, Vinny is an inexperienced lawyer who has never been to trial.

The three New Yorkers begin to face a number of challenges thrown their way from local Alabama residents and the judge of the trial, who proved to be uncompromising. One scene in particular shows Vinny and his girlfriend, Mona Lisa (played by Marisa Tomei) walking into the Pool and Chicken to collect a $200 winning on a previous pool game, left unpaid by the character named T.J. This is the hilarious “counteroffer” scene, in which Vinny negotiates a bet with T.J. on getting their money. The setting for this “pool hall” scene is a long, historic brick building right off Hwy 11 on the main strip in Mansfield, Georgia.

Across Highway 11 on the other side of the street is an old abandoned warehouse. This building was also used during filming to represent the Wahzoo City Hotel, where Vinny and Mona Lisa stayed for part of the movie. Remember the scene where they ask the hotel clerk about the train that comes through so early every morning? That was shot at the old warehouse. The crew also used the top floor corner room as the space to build the “hotel room” set. Many scenes that take place within their hotel room were actually shot on that top floor set!


Who remembers the quaint, rural cabin where Vinny gets stuck in the mud and Mona Lisa expresses concerns about her ticking “biological clock”? This little cabin is also tucked away on the backroads of Newton County.

If you haven’t seen this 90’s classic, then it’s a must-see movie. This dramatic comedy is a great date night flick, as well! Watch to see if cousin Vinny can get Bill and Stanley out of trouble and back to UCLA. And, join in our sense of hometown pride as we spot all of the local sites used on location.

Reel Locations in Mystic Falls: Whitmore College

Even though one of our favorite television productions has ended, we can still reminisce on all the good times. The Vampire Diaries will always have a place in our hearts and we thank them for calling Covington home. When you watch the show you can see familiar locations such as our famous clock-tower and Lockwood Mansion. But did you know that Oxford College of Emory University was also a film location for the hit TV series, the college was used as Whitmore College in the series. Since Covington served as Mystic Falls, and conveniently has a college nearby in Oxford, Ga, it was very helpful for filming.

Oxford College of Emory University was first seen in Season 4 when Damon, Bonnie, and Elena went to a frat party on campus soon after Elena became a vampire. In season 6, Alaric begins teaching a class at Whitmore, Jo is working at the hospital on campus, and Elena is enrolled in medical school there. Being that all supernatural characters were banned from Mystic Falls in Season 5, Whitmore College was the perfect place for everybody to call home. As you walk the campus you can see familiar locations where Elena and Caroline moved-in as well when great moments that happened during this season.

For more information on self-guided or guided tours click here or visit the Visitors Center located at 2101 Clark Street Covington, GA 30014.

In The Heat of The Night Film Locations

Newton County has been home to numerous film and television productions that have provided impact to culture and society. Not only have the productions brought economic benefits to the community, but they have attracted people from all over the world to come and visit. Shows like The Vampire Diaries and movies like Remember the Titanshave enthralled audiences for decades, but one program that has left an indelible mark on the community is In the Heat of the Night. This television series, centered in the town Sparta, Mississippi, details the story of a local police department solving crimes amidst the backdrop of social change in the southern United States. Many sites and memories of the show have become well known around the country, and even the world.

With the show centering on the activities of the local Sparta Police Station, the actual building became a recognizable fixture in living rooms across the country. The building in reality served as the Newton County Library during the time of filming, located on historic Monticello Street near the Square of Covington. Visiting the location today can transport you back in time to the police station of Chief Bill Gillespie. One of the most popular attractions in Newton County is the Covington Square, which served as the square of the fictional Sparta. As you walk the square today, following the steps taken by characters of the highly successful show, be sure to go inside some of the stores and restaurants.

vampire diaries film locations

Two of the main characters of the show, Police Chief Bill Gillespie and Virgil Tibbs, have their homes located in Downtown Covington. Both the Tibbs and Gillespie’s homes are still standing today. Although private property, both structures are featured in the self-guided location tour, available at the Visitor Information Center, and are easily seen from the sidewalks. Another sight that most viewers would recognize would be the historic Newton County Courthouse, which served as the Sparta Courthouse on the show, with many scenes taking place within the building. A slice of history is also preserved outside of the courthouse, where the production has a star in Covington’s famed Walk of Stars.


As decades have passed and television productions have come and gone, the impact of In the Heat of the Nighton the Newton County community cannot be overstated. The show has come to live on through recognizable locations and verbal history told by county residents. Come visit Newton County and Covington to walk the streets of “Sparta”.

The Dukes of Hazzard Filming Locations in The Original Hollywood of the South

If you like fishing, hunting and driving a General Lee, then we guarantee that you’ll love the 4 filming spots you can visit from the hit TV series The Dukes of Hazzard. We proudly boast the Duke Family on the resume of the Original Hollywood of the SouthÒ, Covington Georgia! This resume is “fuller than a possum on a gumbush” according to Deputy Enos Strate! The Dukes of Hazzard TV Series on Primetime Television kept everyone’s favorite Duke Boys, played by John Schneider and Tom Wopat, and cousin Daisy, played by Catherine Bach, in trouble with the law and stealing hearts while on screen!


  1. Elm Street

Everybody remembers the very first episode “One Armed Bandits”, when the Duke boys chased Cooter, who borrowed Rosco’s Patrol Car. In that scene, you can see the General Lee on Elm Street in Covington jumping 157 feet into the air. This jump over the old railroad tracks is north of Floyd Street, between Usher and Williams Streets.


      2. Hwy 81 and Herring Street

The Elm Street jump isn’t the only familiar film location in Covington. Near the end of the pilot episode “One Armed Bandits” the Dukes boys are being chased by Rosco and Enos on their way to the Orphanage. You can see the cars crossing the railroad tracks located at Highway 81, (Emory Street) and Herring Street in Covington.


         3. Covington Courthouse

Episode 1, “One Armed Bandits,” and 5, “High Octane,” feature the Newton County Courthouse aka the Hazzard County Courthouse. In episode 5 “High Octane,” you can spot Bo and Luke together with their uncle Jesse walking up the steps of the Hazzard County Courthouse, located at 1124 Clark Street. The boys were on their way to visit their probation officer.


        4. Clark Street


This shot is taken in front of the Courthouse, located at 1124 Clark Street in Covington, looking to the west. In this scene, you can see Cooter fixing the General Lee’s taillight. Note the big dent in the General Lee. You can also see BB&T Bank in the back to the right, at the time this was the Bank of Covington


A big thank you to Warner Bros for making Covington its home for the first five episodes of The Dukes of Hazzard,” we will forever be Hazzard County! If you’re in the Hollywood of the SouthÒ, make a trip to see the filming locations for The Dukes of Hazzard to snap a selfie and share with us by tagging @GoCovingtonGa or using our hashtag #HollywoodOfTheSouth, #HazzardCouty, or #FilmCovingon.