Kentucky Town Makes Hollywood Debut

ELIZABETHTOWN, Ky., Oct 19 /PRNewswire/ — “Yes, Virginia, there really is an Elizabethtown,” and it’s in central Kentucky, between Louisville and Nashville, at the southern end of the scenic Blue Grass Parkway.

But “Elizabethtown” is also writer-director Cameron Crowe’s paean to “smallish-town” America which hit theaters nationwide on October 14th.

While most movie-goers will head to their Cineplex to moon over star Orlando Bloom or check out the latest effort of Hollywood wunderkind Crowe, who has achieved cult status with films such as “Fast Times at Ridgemont High,” “Jerry Maguire” and “Almost Famous,” the theater full of lucky Kentuckians invited to the film’s September 17th screening was more interested in another of the film’s stars – Elizabethtown itself, or E’Town as it’s affectionately known to locals.

For unlike Superman’s Metropolis or Batman’s Gotham City, Elizabethtown is a real community of some 23,000 located in the heart of the Commonwealth.

“I was pleased with the way the movie captured the feeling we have here, that as a community we are just one big family,” says banker Jim Long, chairperson of the town’s Tourism and Convention Bureau, and a lifelong Elizabethtown resident.

After exiting the screening, Long commented, “I am really excited about sharing our wonderful story as portrayed in Cameron Crowe’s movie with the world.”

Josh Hartlage, president of Advent Financial Systems, also attended the screening, and was equally enthusiastic about both the film and his hometown.

“When you grow up in a town like E’Town, you sometimes take for granted what a special place it is,” says Hartlage, noting that “like Drew found out in the movie, it often takes leaving and coming back to appreciate its character and charm.”

Hartlage adds that, “Cameron did a beautiful job of capturing the scenic landscape and the spirit of the people in our little town.”

Elizabethtown wasn’t the only city to receive a sprinkling of Tinseltown glitter. That evening it was Louisville’s turn as Crowe and Bloom worked the red carpet at the Showcase Cinema de Lux, site of the film’s second premiere, and then mingled with local VIPs during the after-party at the historic Brown Hotel (which plays itself in the film).

Meanwhile, Elizabethtown (the real one – not the reel one) is still feeling the love.

“The people of Elizabethtown went out of their way to show us kindness as we shot our film,” says Crowe, who has ties to the state through his father, a Kentucky native. “I’m thrilled that we were able to repay them with a special screening.”

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