Natchez ready for silver screen

Published 12:03 am Friday, October 13, 2017

We’ve long said Natchez’s natural beauty makes the city a perfect backdrop for a picture.

We had in our minds simply a single photograph, but a well-credentialed Hollywood actor, director and producer said this week he sees motion pictures when he looks into Natchez’s future.

In fact, he believes one of the city’s landmarks could potentially make an excellent location for film producers to work.

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Jake Seal, who along with his wife Jodie, have created Plantation Village Studios in Jackson, La., told city leaders this week, he has interest in transforming the former Margaret Martin School on Homochitto Street into a film studio and learning lab of sorts.

The idea is worth the city exploring with an open mind.

A steady stream of film production could be a very good economic boost for our area and, simultaneously, increased use of the former school building could greatly solidify its future.

The former school is a Mississippi Landmark due to its architecture and historical importance. That designation protects it from unapproved development, but also limits in some ways its use.

Seal’s plan, at least as we understand it, would require little to no structural changes in the building, which should allow it to easily pass muster with the Mississippi Archives and History personnel who regulate Mississippi Landmarks.

We look forward to seeing what the city and Seal can create in a plan that works for both sides.

In the end, Natchez’s beauty and the welcoming character of its people could benefit from being shared with the world through the silver screen.