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It's been a busy week for Corsicana in terms of entertainment. The new film Night, Night, directed by Niki Koss, has been shooting in various locations throughout Corsicana the last few days, and the six-part Cheer documentary that focuses on the cheerleaders of Navarro College just dropped on Netflix a few days ago. The series features not only the college's colorful morale boosters, but several residents throughout the town.

While all of this newfound attention is exciting and newsworthy, it's not a new thing for Corsicana. We've been producing local talent, venues, and projects for years. A few years back, I wrote about the life and career of Jacqueline Medura Logan, a silent film actress who moved into the realm of producing and directing films in Europe.

We enjoyed a “Golden Age” of movie theaters with classic films being shown in venues such as the Ideal, the Bijou, the Majestic, the Starlight, and the Palace. Cinema IV (which began its life as the Jerry Lewis Twin Cinema) and the Navarro Twin Drive-In were mainstays for an entire generation of filmgoers. Schulman's Movie Bowl Grille features film premieres and specialty screenings today.

Corsicana was also right at the forefront when the home video age hit the consumer market. Who remembers the early days of renting movies from The Movie Store, ColorTyme, and Curtis Mathes before we graduated to Movieland, Ron's Movie Palace and Blockbuster Video?

Those places fueled imaginations and inspired a generation of filmmakers to attempt their own projects from the science fiction miniseries Battlestate and 1990s indie horror film The Dreaded. There's more than a few recognizable faces from those projects still in town today.

Corsicana's role in the movies has continued on, from the Element {.245} series, Love Land, FAZ, and Warning Shot. What other town can claim its Chief of Police is a film producer and screenwriter who has been regularly bringing in new film projects?

The movie Fruitcake is currently in production, bringing the talents of Will Farrell and Laura Dern to tell an original story that came only from our town.

Sometimes these projects and places have inspired a few local dreamers to go out and try it for themselves. Many of those who worked at the local video stores and movie theaters went out to work in the industry to make a name for themselves, becoming actors, screenwriters, producers, and directors. It's an extra sense of community pride that a small town can produce so many big things. And sometimes, those people who once ventured out come back home to share those talents.

Of course, some grumble at the influx of these growing number of cinematic projects filling our streets and drawing extra attention to the community. “We don't need to have films here.” To that I ask: “Why not?”

What disadvantage has this growing creative industry provided our town? Corsicana is about as “Small Town America” as one can get, making it an ideal filming location. Each new project has brought in new jobs where people can make professional connections and learn new skills. Internationally distributed shows and films give Corsicana a level of exposure that a public relations team could only dream of. And we can't hope for growth while retaining a want for things to stay the same.

For me, Corsicana isn't the same as it was as I was growing up, and of course I miss some of those things. But seeing a film crew in the streets of Corsicana, and Dad's old workplace being featured on Netflix.... There's my own sense of community pride involved. I'm all for this change, and candidly, if you have even the slightest inkling of trying to get involved with one of these films, go for it. It can be long hours, but you'll make a one of a kind story you can tell by being a background actor or production crew member. I'll ask this again: “Why not?”

For those hoping this whole film thing comes and goes quickly, Corsicana's revolution began a long time ago, and it's only just getting started.

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