News Column

Fairmont on the big screen with the release of 'Arthur Newman'

May 6, 2013


May 06--If Fairmont Mayor Charles Kemp wants to see his small town on the big screen in "Arthur Newman," a film starring Colin Firth and Emily Blunt, he's going to have to go to the beach.

The film, originally titled "Arthur Newman Golf Pro," featured scenes shot in Fairmont but was primarily filmed in Wilmington. It will be shown there at the Carmike 16, 111 Cinema Drive, through Thursday. The film could stay longer if it performs well.

"I'm glad it's showing somewhere, but it doesn't do me much good in Wilmington," said Kemp.

The movie was released to a limited number of theaters on April 26, according to Cinedigm, the film's distributor. A search of Yahoo Movies and Fandango reveal no scheduled showings elsewhere in North Carolina, and neither the Cameo Art House Theatre nor the local Carmike Cinemas are slated to show the film.

In "Arthur Newman," labeled as a dramatic comedy, Firth ("The King's Speech") plays Wallace Avery, a failed golf pro who fakes his death and creates a new identity for himself. While en route to a new job at a country club, Avery meets Michaela Fitzgerald (Blunt) and the pair begins breaking into people's homes and inhabiting the lives of the homeowners.

The movie was filmed at Wilmington's EUE/Screen Gems Studios and various North Carolina locations in late 2011.

In November 2011, about 150 crew members -- along with the stars -- took over Fairmont to film a scene in front of the Hector McLean Public Library, which posed as a hotel, and the vacant Fairmont Youth Opportunity Center, which will appear as the outside of a chapel.

Producer Mac Cappuccino of Vertebra Films told the Observer then that the scene is an important one in the story.

"Wallace (Firth) ... is looking over at this chapel and sees these people getting married. He's looking for Mike (Blunt), and he can't find her. He realizes that, 'I like this girl.' ... He cares for her almost like a caretaker, but there's also that romantic tension," Cappuccino said.

While the scene doesn't last long, the crew spent the day in the town.

Kemp said he's hopeful the movie will come to Lumberton.

"I called the Lumberton theater, and she called a booking agent and was told it was a limited production but that they'll try to get a print and show it in the Lumberton area," said Kemp. "I'm going to keep trying to get a showing here. We think it'd be neat to have a special showing and make a night of it here in Fairmont."

Staff writer Brian Dukes can be reached at or 486-3523.


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