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New Exhibit Highlights Colonial Williamsburg’s Hollywood Connection

WILLIAMSBURG-The John D. Rockefeller Jr. Library at Colonial Williamsburg recently introduced a new display highlighting Colonial Williamsburg’s involvement with film and television.

The new exhibit, entitled “Hollywood Comes to Williamsburg: A Century of Movie and Media Productions,” opened July 28.

Curators Jenna Simpson, Tracey Gulden, Donna Cooke, and Marianne Martin spent roughly two years creating the exhibit, which features photos, images, and artifacts of various television shows and movies that filmed on location in Colonial Williamsburg as well as series and films that were made through the years internally through the Colonial Williamsburg Production Department.

“We felt it was something that people would be really interested in,” Cooke said. “It’s something different than from what we’ve done in the past.”

The exhibit contains roughly 50 images of various productions that have involved Colonial Williamsburg, beginning with the Cary Grant movie “Howards of Virginia,” which is one of the first times Hollywood filmed on location in Colonial Williamsburg back in 1940.

Other movies and TV shows that have filmed in Colonial Williamsburg include “Lassie,” “Mister Roger’s Neighborhood,” “1, 2, 3 Go!,” “Good Morning America,” and, more recently, “John Adams” and “Turn.”

The exhibit also features the Colonial Williamsburg production “Williamsburg: The Story of a Patriot” as well as a Perry Como Christmas show that was filmed in Colonial Williamsburg over five days in 1978.

“I have a special place in my heart for the Perry Como Christmas special,” said Martin. “He came with a group that included John Wayne, the actress Diana Canova, and Miss America Kylene Baker. There is such a rich history of media production here in Colonial Williamsburg.”

A limited selection of images from the exhibit will also soon be available online for those who can’t visit the exhibit in person.

Colonial Williamsburg’s new Hollywood exhibit is free and will run through December 2022 at John D. Rockefeller Jr. Library. The library is located at 313 First Street and is open Monday through Friday, 9am to 5pm.

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