Atlanta an unexpected treasure trove for movie buffs

By Mike Steely

Atlanta, Georgia offers lots for a family to do including the Coca Cola museum, the Georgia Aquarium, CNN Studio Tours, and so much more. But if you’re a movie buff there’s a surprising place to find relics and information on filming in the state.

The President Jimmy Carter Library and Museum is not an obvious place for movie memories but, since Carter as governor created the state’s film promotion department, part of the extensive Carter Library is dedicated to movies and television shows filmed in the state.

The tour of the Jimmy Carter Library carries you from his birth to his retirement, following his boyhood to state government, governor and president. The Oval Office is a duplicate of the room where he served including a reproduction of the president’s Resolute Desk. President Kennedy used the desk and Carter was the second president to use it.

On exhibit along the self-guided tour is Carter’s Medals of Freedom and his Nobel Peace Prize for the agreement he forged between Egypt and Israel. A 14 minute film tells Carter’s story. He grew up during segregation and he dedicated his life to human rights.

The library is on the grounds of a slave-holding plantation that was destroyed by Union troops during the Civil War. Across the lawn is the Carter Center which the former president formed to help promote democracy and free elections worldwide.

The Carter Library occupies 37 acres and features a small garden, walking paths, statues, and is part of the National Archives but operated separately. Believe it or not Carter was a Rock and Roll fan and his presidential campaign was helped by the Allman Brothers Band.

In the rear of the library, which is more a museum than a “book” library, is the Georgia in Film exhibits. Featured are exhibits and studio props from “The Walking Dead,” “Stranger Things,” “Driving Miss Daisy” and many other mementos from television and movie productions made in Georgia.

There are bus tours and other sites around Atlanta you can visit that appear in films. The two-story residential house where Margaret Mitchell began writing “Gone With the Wind” has a guided tour and a small museum. It features her apartment there and photos and exhibits from the classic movie and the premier in Atlanta.

Georgia has become a production hub and you may also consider a CNN Studio tour with an 8-floor walk down after taking the world’s longest free-standing escalator. A tour guide will give you a peek at the production studios with a bird’s eye view of a busy newsroom with dozens of reporters. CNN has a tourist store at the end of the tour.

Touring the Carter Library is inexpensive, only $12 for adults and $10 for senior citizens. Students are admitted free. The facility is located at 441 John Lewis Parkway and you can call the library at 404-865-7100. You can also find them at www.jimmycarterlibrary.gov.

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