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The City of St. Augustine remains committed to providing accessibility to all and provides for handicapped accessible parking in the city. For a map of accessible parking locations, Click Here To notify the city regarding accessibility concerns contact Todd Grant, Public Works Deputy Director, Phn: 904.825.1040, Fax: 904.209.4286, Email: email@example.com. You may also write City of St. Augustine, P.O. Box 210, St. Augustine, FL 32085-0210.
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Aviles Street, one of St. Augustine’s most picturesque, Old World streets, will be portrayed as a street in Lima, Peru in the film adaptation of The Celestine Prophecy. Use of the street was made possible through the cooperation of the Old Town Association.
On-location shooting was completed in St. Augustine right on schedule on Friday, April 16. All in all, the experience was a positive one for both the production and the community.
The city appreciates the cooperative spirit and patience shown to the film's producers by so very many local individuals and organizations. The producers are to be congratulated on their understating of the unique character of St. Augustine, and their diligence to minimize inconveniences to the community.
The year was 1915 and film production was booming in St. Augustine with no less than seven features shot in the city that year. It was the most active year during the city’s encounter with the budding industry that would eventually find its home 3,000 miles away on the other coast in California. All in all, between 1914 and 1920, there were 16 films shot here, according to the Internet Movie Database, featuring such young stars of the silent, black and white screen as Theda Bara.
St. Augustine’s role as a movie set has waned over the years, but has certainly had its moments in the limelight, most notably in the 1951 production of Distant Drums with Gary Cooper, in 1988 with Illegally Yours starring Rob Lowe, and in the summer of 2000 when The Flamingo Rising starring William Hurt was shot here.
This month, the cameras are rolling again in the Nation’s Oldest City as principal photography of The Celestine Prophecy got underway in full force. The film adaptation of James Redfield’s bestseller by the same title features an international ensemble cast that includes Matthew Settle, Thomas Kretschmann, Sarah Wayne Callies, Annabeth Gish, Hector Elizondo, Joaquim de Almeida and Jürgen Prochnow, Robyn Cohen and Obba Babatundé. The film is directed by Armand Mastroianni.
The first few days of shooting were at Washington Oaks Gardens State Park followed by several days at a private home outside the city. Shooting inside the city begins on April 8 and continues through April 16 (see schedule and locations below). Upon completion in St. Augustine the production will move to Ocala and later Puerto Rico for additional shooting.
Unique challenges met with cooperation
Unlike a real movie set, St. Augustine is a living and thriving city, thus as with all productions that involve use of public property, whether a photo shoot for a department store’s catalogue or a television commercial for a car company, the first stop for a producer is the City’s Department of Public Affairs.
Paul Williamson, the department’s director, says the city’s philosophy for allowing productions to utilize the city as a location is simple: Maximize the production’s success and minimize the effect on residents, visitors and businesses.
"Many productions and photography shoots slip in and out of the city without ever drawing attention," said Williamson. "But with a major event like The Celestine Prophecy, the production will have a very noticeable presence in the city. Coordination and communication between the crew and city staff are critical to ensure the production stays on schedule and that residents’ and businesses’ routines are disrupted very little."
"Every production, large or small, brings income to the community," said Williamson. "There are hotel rooms, catering services, building supplies office space and lots of labor purchased by a production company, so we welcome their presence, but never to the point of disrupting the normal flow of the city’s primary industry: tourism. That’s why the coordination and cooperation is so very important."
Williamson added that production companies are responsible for paying the cost of city personnel and user fees of public locations, such as Government House, so there is no cost to the city’s taxpayers.
Williamson praised the producers of The Celestine Prophecy for their willingness to cooperate with the unique challenges St. Augustine poses, especially during the months of March and April when the volume of visitors is at one of the year’s high points. In addition to meeting with the city, the producers have also worked closely with Flagler College, the St. Johns County School District and the Old Town Association, a neighborhood association located just south of the Plaza to secure locations for the film.
Click here for a thumbnail schedule of shooting locations while The Celestine Prophecy is on location in St. Augustine.
Intermittent traffic interruptions, detours and restricted parking will be common in the vicinity of each location on the day of shooting and the public should adjust schedules and travel routes accordingly.
The schedule may change, so for updated information, call the Department of Public Affairs at 904.825.1004.