In the matchup of Hollywood vs. Christmas, Hollywood prevails. Richmond’s annual tree lighting has been canceled this year because Steven Spielberg’s movie “Lincoln’ is shooting in the state capitol.
The governor’s office made the announcement Thursday and Bob McDonnell addressed the issue during an afternoon conference call from India, where he’s on a trade mission. Spielberg’s studio DreamWorks, which is pumping $35 million into the state economy, has “several venues in and around Richmond reserved for them,” he said. “Honestly, they have taken over Mr. Jefferson’s capitol.”
The director has been filming all around the city including the governor’s mansion and Capitol Square, reports our colleague Laura Vozzella. A big tree is typically erected on the south portico of the capitol, with a ceremonial lighting in early December. There’s still a tree going up, but not until the week before Christmas when filming is expected to wrap.
Read also: Virginia Politics: Spielberg film pulls plug on Richmond’s capitol tree lighting, 11/17/11
Read earlier: Sally Field to play Mary Todd Lincoln; actress prepped for role with visit to Ford’s Theatre, 4/13/11
Virginia Politics: McDonnell hosts Spielberg, film crew, at mansion, 10/2/11