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'Lincoln' could bolster Virginia's economy

Sunday - 1/13/2013, 8:55am  ET

Hank Silverberg, wtop.com

WASHINGTON - Steven Spielberg's hit movie "Lincoln" could also be a big hit for Virginia's economy.

The movie was filmed entirely in the Richmond and Petersburg area and has already infused $64 million into the state's economy in 2012.

Gov. Bob McDonnell is hoping the success of "Lincoln" will show that the state is a good place to make movies and increase revenue from films in the future.

The economic impact of the film and television industry in the state was up to $394 million dollars in 2011, the year before the "Lincoln" movie was filmed.

The scenes that are supposed to be happening in the U.S. Capitol, including a dramatic debate over the 13th Amendment to end slavery, were actually filmed in the Virginia State Capitol in the same chambers where the Confederate Congress met between 1861 and 1865.

The movie features a rotunda scene with a statue of George Washington in the background, which was shot in the present-day Virginia capitol rotunda instead of the U.S. Capitol.

Other scenes were shot outside of the state capitol building, along with the actual Appomattox, Va. home where Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered in 1865.

Virginia's department of tourism has set up a Lincoln Trail where people can visit the sites seen in the film along with the restaurants and shops that were favorites of the star cast and crew while "Lincoln was being filmed in 2012.

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