Old Savannah Tour Company in Historic Savannah, Georgia has created a tour for the entertainment lover appropriately named “That’s Entertainment Savannah!”. Kolin and I met one muggy Friday evening at McDonough’s Bar for a drink or two while waiting for the rest of our tour group to show up. As we waited, we tried to recount the movies we thought had been made here in Savannah. The most notable films, of course, were Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, Forrest Gump, and The Longest Yard. We also wracked our brains guessing which parts of town were seen in which movie.
Soon enough, our group was gathered and we filed into the Savannah Theater across the street. Our evening started with an informal but very informative tour of the backstage area of the theater where we met some of the cast members as they were preparing for the show. The Savannah Theater is the oldest continuously operating theater in America! This stunning fact along with other interesting tidbits about past performers is learned on the tour. When the theater tour concluded, we filed onto an air-conditioned bus and awaited the arrival of our tour guide.
While wondering what was keeping the tour guide, we caught sight of a man wearing a light blue checkered shirt, khakis, and a bright red baseball cap frantically running towards us lugging a small suitcase. Once he boarded and caught his breath he introduced himself as our tour guide: “Hello, my name is Forrest…Forrest Gump”! After many surprised laughs and stunned looks, he continued to play along and amuse us with his spot–on impression. He finally broke character and the bus started rolling with “Forrest” as our guide.
While movie scenes were played on a screen at the front of the bus, we were taken to the identical spots for a firsthand look at where many famous scenes had been filmed over the years. Savannah has extremely close ties with many box office hits and directors and producers from all over choose Savannah for its grace, on-screen charm and ability to fit into any time period. The tour was very entertaining and we found the combination of tour and appropriate film clips to be engagingly helpful. By now, I was primed and ready for some real live entertainment!
The tour bus halted to a stop about a block away from the theater as “Forrest” stood up and announced “I think I had too many Dr. Peppers, I have to pee!” He dashed out the door of the bus and scrambled across the square to the theater. As we all let out hearty laughter, we quickly followed suit, not wanting to miss a moment of the Southern Nights Variety Show!
Historic Savannah’s Azalea Inn and Gardens B&B is a short walk from the Savannah Theater.