Fort Macleod’s historic Main Street will stand in for 1920s Juneau, Alaska in a new Hollywood movie.
Scenes from “The Race to Nome” will be filmed on Main Street and possibly inside the Empress Theatre some time this winter.
“It’s another big budget feature production,” Town of Fort Macleod economic development officer Martin Ebel said.
No dates have been set for the arrival of the movie crew.
Fort Macleod’s historic Main Street earned strong reviews from the movie’s location manager.
“He said we’re pretty unique in what we have here,” Ebel said. “If you’re looking for that time period it doesn’t really get much better.”
The movie is based on a true story about a 1925 diphtheria outbreak in Nome, Alaska and the efforts to deliver life-saving diphtheria antitoxin to the remote community.
The vaccine had to be delivered by dog sled from the end of the rail line.
What became known as the “Great Race of Mercy” involved 150 dog sleds and 20 mushers covering more than 1,000 kilometres in 5 1/2 days to save the town and surrounding area from an epidemic.
The “Great Race of Mercy” captured the attention of the media and public, and there is a statue in New York City’s Central Park of the lead sled dog Balto.
The movie is in pre-production with Brian Presley, who stars in the TV series “Port Charles,” listed as producer and star.
It is expected the movie crews will work a day or two in Fort Macleod.
Ebel compared impact of “The Race to Nome” to scenes from “The Young and Prodigious Spivet” that were filmed in Fort Macleod early in September.
Main Street was closed off while scenes were shot through the evening and into the early morning.
“It’s not huge, but Fort Macleod’s name is out there,” Ebel said of economic impact. “We’re in the movies.”
Ebel said he will encourage the movie company to do as much business in town as possible.
“It’s not going to be huge economic activity,” Ebel said. “I’ll be working with them to ensure if there is anything that can be obtained locally, it will be bought locally.”
Fort Macleod residents are advised to watching for casting calls for extras from “The Race to Nome.”