Movie crews using abandoned Douglas County Jail for films

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DOUGLAS COUNTY, Ga. —

Selling an old, abandoned jail for $3 million takes time. So while Douglas County works on redevelopment plans, they're making money on the facility by making movies.

Other parts of metro Atlanta are also renting undeveloped projects to film companies.

Douglas County decommissioned its jail a year ago. The 10 acres of barbed wire and concrete are empty and unused, but until it gets r-developed, it's a "gold mine" for filmmakers.

Chris Pumphrey is working to redevelop the old jail, but he said any movement is at least a year away. So about six months ago they started renting it to film companies.

"It's not so painful. You're sitting there with an empty facility that it actually has a use, it's generating some income," Pumphrey said.

Crews were there Wednesday. So far four projects, including a feature film have been shot inside the jail.

"In demand are old jails, hospitals and schools. They're the three hardest things to find," Pumphrey said.

The place really hasn't changed since the inmates left.

Douglas County has its jail, meanwhile Forest Park is trying to redevelop Ft. Gillem and in the last four months it's rented out space to movie companies for $45,000.

That is making the long redevelopment process easier for taxpayers.

Pumphrey says Douglas County has only made about $25,000 so far, but it's more than the building was making without the movies. He said they've launched a marketing campaign to attract more crews next year.

"It's beneficial for us not only to have facility in high demand, but to be within that 30-mile zone bodes well for us," Pumphrey sad.

Pumphrey says the Douglas jail isn't the only abandoned jail, but it is the closest to Atlanta, which makes it attractive to film scouts.