Archived Story

City OKs potential movie at RTC

Published 11:05am Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Hollywood might finally get its day in Fergus Falls.

On Monday night, the city council voted to express its openness to the Kirkbride building being used in a movie, described as “a comedy in the Monty Python type of a genre” by Community Development Director Gordon Hydukovich. The city’s Convention and Visitors Bureau had been contacted about the movie by the Minnesota Film Board.

That the movie will come to Fergus Falls is by no means a sure thing yet. Given the city’s history of refusals to allow filmmakers to use the site, said City Administrator Mark Sievert, the film board essentially told the city, “We’re not going to go try sell this as a site if you’re going to say no.”

Filmmakers have attempted to use the Kirkbride as a movie setting multiple times, only to be turned down by the city. Once, when the city was trying to set up a Chinese business school at the site, a horror movie was turned away from shooting over concerns that international students would be afraid to go to school there, said Hydukovich.

“I personally feel we’ve missed (several) opportunities to have it exposed nationally or internationally,” he said.

While he said it won’t make the city a lot of money, Hydukovich remarked that a movie could be great publicity for the Kirkbride, especially at a time when Fergus Falls is trying to expose it to potential developers. Sievert added that additional benefits would come to hotels and other businesses in town if a film crew was to come to the city.

Now that the council has approved its potential availability for a movie shoot, the film board can try to sell the Kirkbride as a viable site. If a film does end up being shot at the building, the city would likely charge the filmmakers for any staff time and utility expenses incurred, plus a small user fee.

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  • Barbara

    If we get the chance, here’s hoping the Council does the right thing this time and approves the use of the Kirkbride.

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