SENOIA, Ga. — Senoia’s welcome sign says the city is perfect — for life.
It has also been a perfect set for 25 films and TV shows, many of which are documented on Senoia’s own Walk of Fame. And it’s only 25 miles south of Atlanta in Coweta County.
The film industry help transform the community from a tiny town in need to activity to a happening destination. Scott Tigchelaar, president of Raleigh Studios Atlanta and keeper of the city keys, is behind much of Senoia’s revitalization.
“The film work is the icing on the cake,” he said. “But even without it, the town is thriving … it’s a lot of fun when someone is filming in town.’
Just off the main street full of mom-and-pop shops are memorable sites from the most well-known movies film in Senoia: a home featured in Fried Green Tomatoes, a church from The Fighting Temptations and another house used in three movies, including Tyler Perry’s Meet the Browns.
Nearby is the Southern Ground Social Club, which belongs to Zac Brown of the Zac Brown Band.
But lately, Senoia’s biggest draw has been zombies.
“‘The Walking Dead’ has had the largest impact of anything we’ve ever done here,” Tigchelaar said.
Even before production on Season 4 began, the town was filled with permanent reminders of “The Walking Dead” community of Woodbury — the bank, coffee shop and town hall, which is just a facade.
The film industry’s impact on Senoia has been so great that the town has started selling Hollywood memorabilia.
“We have people seven days a week walking the streets looking for ‘Walking Dead’ paraphernalia,” Tigchelaar said.
To take the set’s popular self-guided walking tours to the next level, the city will begin running a trolley later this month.
Tigchelaar is behind so much of the development because he’s also the businessman behind Senoia Enterprises, which is developing a live-work-play community of homes and a hotel. He even plans to turn the city’s water tower into a watering hole.