Recognize this? 6 Christmas TV movies made in the Wilmington area
For lots of us, Christmastime means time spent watching Christmas movies. Whether your idea of great Christmas movies are “It’s a Wonderful Life” and “Miracle on 34th Street” or “Die Hard” and “Gremlins,” it’s all about absorbing some nostalgic, cinematic comfort food.
No “classic” Christmas movies like the ones mentioned above have been filmed in Wilmington since the industry found a home here in the 1980s. (Not enough snow?) But we’ve got our fair share of, if not holiday hits, then at least movies good enough to have on the background while you wrap presents.
Shot in Wilmington over the summer — fake snow and extras in Santa suits on Front Street made for a curious scene one hot August day — “Christmas in Harmony” was running on the Hallmark Channel by late October.
Featuring a nearly all-Black cast, it stars Ashleigh Murray as Harmony, who comes home for Christmas only to be tricked into joining a holiday choir directed by none other than (surprise!) her ex (Luke James). You don’t need to be Santa to know where this romantic holiday story line is heading.
Watch: 4 p.m. Dec. 26 on the Hallmark Channel.
Prolific Wilmington filmmaker Nakia Hamilton created this comedic drama/romance about a man with a job opportunity that will allow him to travel the world.
There’s just once catch: He can bring his girlfriend, but only if they’re married before Christmas.
Stars Joshua T. Shipman, Lily Nicole, Amber Dawn Fox, Natasha Locklear and Denine Rochelle.
Watch: On TubiTV.com
Shot in Wilmington in September of 2020 and airing on the Hallmark Channel two months later, this story of a young woman (Jen Lilley) who falls for a Navy pilot (Trevor Donovan) features scenes shot on the Battleship North Carolina.
Other Port City locations include the Hannah Block Historic USO/Community Arts Center, the Wilmington Railroad Museum and our very own StarNews newsroom.
Watch: 8 p.m. Jan. 1 on the Hallmark Channel.
Featuring a big-name cast — Andy Garcia, Mary-Louise Parker, Mandy Moore, SNL’s Cheri Oteri — this Hallmark Hall of Fame movie is probably best known for the plot point in which grumpy Duncan (Garcia) proves his love for his wife (Parker) by building a Ferris wheel in their back yard. The Ferris wheel in question was built in Wilmington’s Forest Hills neighborhood.
Watch: “Christmas in Conway” is available on a variety of streaming services, including Hallmark Movies Now.
Shelley Long, a couple of years past her “Cheers” prime, stars in this TV movie (originally for Lifetime) about a woman running for mayor of her town. There’s just one problem: Her dad thinks he’s Santa Claus, and if the town finds out about his lunacy, her candidacy is surely sunk. This one has proved to have some shelf life, and aired on AMC a couple of times earlier this month. Also with Barry Bostwick.
Watch: Amazon Prime video.
This TV movie (originally for NBC) is notable for being not only based on a short story by the writer Truman Capote, but also for being the final movie role in iconic actress Katharine Hepburn’s long and illustrious career.
It’s based on a true story from Capote’s boyhood about going on Christmastime adventures with the father he barely knows. Also with Henry Winkler, Swoosie Kurtz and Pat Hingle, who was living in Wilmington by this time.
Contact John Staton at 910-343-2343 or John.St[email protected]
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