The Booming of The Entertainment Industry in Alabama

World resonates California with the entertainment industry. But let’s move on from this regular Hollywood dream destination. South USA is creating a new wave in this segment lately. An ever-growing number of production houses are heading to Alabama for filmmaking.

There are over a dozen movie projects in Alabama that have been the talk of the town. Let’s dig deeper into the state’s booming entertainment industry.

History of the Alabama Entertainment Industry

Alabama has an impressive, if not long, history in the entertainment industry. 

The diverse landscapes, expressive locations, and advanced technology make the Cotton State a prime location for moviemakers. Cheaper production costs are another reason for studio houses shifting to Alabama locations. 

In 2009, Alabama legislation allowed tax incentives for the state’s film projects. Kathy Faulk said that the Alabama Film Office recorded the highest volume of movie production in that year. The film segment isn’t just spending money but hiring fresh talents from the Cotton State.

Rest is the history! 

This initiative brought Alabama more into the spotlight among the industry players. Numerous production houses now shoot movies throughout the state. Many of the movies filmed in this state won prestigious Oscar, Emmy, and Global Globe awards.

How Does Film Production Impact the State Economy?

The film industry in Alabama has a massive economic impact. 

Known as the Alabama Film Tax Credit, the state’s incentives legislation in 2009 has been a game-changer in boosting the movie business here. The state also got a dedicated film incentive program in 2018. With an annual spending cap of $20 million, production houses get a 25% rebate on all expenditures. It also covers 35% of payroll paid to Alabama residents. 

Kathy Faulk reported many movie and TV productions are taking advantage of these incentives. With the Film Office’s assistance, 147 film production ventures generated $63.5 million for Alabama.

Alabama uses its cap effectively by drawing in various entertainment projects like Jesus Revolution and A Nashville Legacy. With a gross revenue of over $300 million globally, Close Encounters of a Third Kind has been the biggest blockbuster. Recent hit Get Out also grossed $255 million worldwide on a $4.5 million budget. 

Undoubtedly, Alabama’s economy will only grow with the presence of the entertainment industry.

Popular Alabama Locations for Shooting

Today, many Alabamian regions are the go-to destination for the film industry. As per the Alabama Film Office, Mobile and Birmingham are the topmost choices for production houses to shoot movies in the state. 

However, other destinations are also gaining momentum among filmmakers, including Fairhope, Huntsville, Dothan, and Tuscaloosa.

Your Favorite Blockbusters From Alabama

From Hollywood hits to indie flicks and independent art house movies, Alabama locations have been favorite options for many production houses. 

Check out three megahits shot in beautiful Alabama destinations.

The Devil All the Time (2020)

This Netflix release is a gothic drama that depicts the story of various characters from the 1940s to the 1960s.

Set in the 1960s, The Devil All the Time will take you to several beautiful Alabama destinations. It includes Jacksonville, Anniston, Birmingham, Helena, and Riverside.

Get Out (2017)

The Oscar-winning directorial debut of Jordan Peele shot the action sequences in a house located in Fairhope. Besides, he filmed a few scenes in the Park Place District (Birmingham), Barton Academy (Mobile), and Ashland Place Historic District (Mobile).

In an interview, the director said Alabamans are amicable and intelligent, with immense love for movies.

The film’s star cast, Allison Williams, also admitted she “fell in love” with the location through her Instagram account.

Mississippi Burning (1988)

Don’t be surprised! Alabama has a role to play in this Gene Hackman and Willem Dafoe starred American crime thriller movie. 

The Orion Pictures production house partially shot Mississippi Burning in LaFayette, Alabama.

Other Flourishing Entertainment Segments in Alabama

Alabama showed incredible growth in the music segment. That said, the state’s contributions range from Grammy award-winning home-grown artists to American Idol winners. There are even museums dedicated to their music legacies state-wide. 

From throughout the world, several notable artists visit Fame Studios or Muscle Shoals Sound in Northwest Alabama to record music. It includes the Rolling Stones, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Percy Sledge, Aretha Franklin, and many more.

Alabama is also popular for horse and greyhound dog race betting enthusiasts. The state has three horse tracks in Macon, Mobile, and Jefferson counties. The Birmingham Race Course has contributed over $ 120 million in local and state taxes till now. Besides, Greene County hosts dog races. 

Further, the state’s tribal casinos on Indian reservations attract casino gaming lovers year-round. The gamblers also have a keen interest in offshore Alabama online casinos. Alabamians can wager on various casino genres on the regulated overseas-based sites unavailable within the state’s jurisdiction.


1. Where is the Alabama Film Office?

Alabama has three film offices. The oldest local film office is in Mobile. Montgomery’s film office has been the Department of Economic & Community Development division for several years. Recently, Birmingham also launched its film office.

2. Where was Jesus Revolution filmed in Alabama?

The Lionsgate production house filmed Jesus Revolution in Mobile.

3. What are the film incentives in Alabama?

It’s Alabama’s film tax credit, which provides production houses a 25% rebate on movie expenses within the state. Only the first $20 million of qualifying film project expenditures receive this incentive. 

Final Thoughts

Alabama’s rich landscapes will likely continue to lure more production houses. It’s fair to say the state will become an attractive shooting site for many films in the coming years. 

Its unbeatable quality of life, tax incentives, and legendary hospitality provide a perfect formula for the industry to thrive.


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