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Haverhill

May 23, 2013

Hollywood in Haverhill; Denzel to film in empty Lowe's building

Columbia Pictures has rented the property off Route 97 through August

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The former home improvement store in Haverhill Commons next to the Target store has been vacant since Lowe’s abruptly closed in October 2011.

The mayor recently proposed a zoning change for the site to accommodate a manufacturing company that is interested in moving into the building sometime after the movie shoot wraps up. The property is owned by KGI Properties of Providence.

The last Hollywood movie with scenes shot in Haverhill was the 2009 film “This Side of the Truth,” which starred Jennifer Garner, Rob Lowe and Ricky Gervais. Several scenes for that movie were shot in 2008 at the Merrivista Senior Community assisted-living complex on Water Street.

Haverhill’s historical connection to the movie business goes back to when Louis B. Mayer opened his first theater downtown. Mayer went on to own several other local theaters before moving on to become one of Hollywood’s biggest movie moguls.

In related news, a study released yesterday on the economic impact of the Massachusetts Film Tax Incentive Program found that for every $1 of film tax incentive awarded in 2011, $10 in spending was generated for the Commonwealth. A total of $37.9 million in film tax credits generated $375.3 million in economic output in the year studied. The study, commissioned by the Motion Picture Association of America, also found that the incentive, which began in 2006, was responsible for 2,220 full time equivalent jobs across all industries in Massachusetts in 2011.

“Massachusetts is the latest example of a state that is benefiting tremendously from a thriving local film industry,” said Chris Dodd, chairman of the Motion Picture Association of America and a former Connecticut senator.

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