Q: I’d like to know which major movies have been shot in and around the Roanoke Valley over the years.
- Sherrick Drews, Roanoke
A: I hesitate to answer this question because I know I’ll be leaving some out, but a little digging reveals that Hollywood has been visiting our region for more than 90 years.
My personal opinion is that the best of the bunch is “What About Bob?” starring Bill Murray and Richard Dreyfuss. Murray attended a premiere event at the Grandin Theatre and was joined by locals who served as extras or worked on the crew. If you haven’t seen it, it’s about a psychiatrist (Dreyfuss) and his very needy patient (Murray) who follows him out of New York City to Lake Winnipesaukee, N.H., one summer. The film was shot mostly at Smith Mountain Lake and on a sound stage at the old National Guard Armory. Roanoke is never mentioned in the film, because it’s just a stand-in for other places, but a byproduct of the production is that we’ve had occasional Bill Murray sightings downtown in the years since.