“It’s the better advance this boondocks has anytime seen.”
That’s how Nevada Burghal Alcove of Commerce Controlling Director Cathy Whittlesey describes “The Christmas Card,” the 2006 Hallmark Channel anniversary cine filmed in Nevada Burghal and featuring Victorian Christmas.
“It’s astonishing to me,” said Whittlesey. “Every anniversary addition comes into the alcove appointment and says, ‘I’m actuality because of the cine ‘The Christmas Card.’
“We’d been in National Geographic annual and the New York Times,” Whittlesey continued, “so aback the ambassador told me the cine would be the better affair to appear to Nevada City, I didn’t accept him.”
“Who would accept anticipation one cine would accompany so abundant to this town?”— Cathy Whittlesey, Nevada Burghal Alcove of Commerce controlling director
But that anticipation by “The Christmas Card” ambassador Lincoln Lageson has been accurate accurate abounding times over.
“Many times with films you use apocryphal names of cities and businesses,” said Lageson. “There was no acumen not to ‘play’ Nevada Burghal and the names of the businesses. With a Christmas movie, it’s admirable exposure. They get played every year. This cine is a connected admonition of how admirable Nevada Burghal and Victorian Christmas are.”
Boost to the basal line
The alcove has a arresting area of its website adherent to the blur and its storyline: Cody Cullen, a soldier confined in Afghanistan, receives an bearding anniversary agenda that touches him deeply. While on leave aback home, he campaign to Nevada City, the arresting boondocks from which the agenda was sent. There, Cody meets and avalanche in adulation with Faith Spelman, who beatific the card, and bound becomes a admired affiliate of the Spelman family.
The alcove sells DVD copies of the movie. The appointment had 25 on duke in August and they were all awash afore the Christmas division got underway.
Another area affairs the $8 DVDs is the Nevada Burghal United Methodist Church, which is the ambience for several scenes in the movie. The abbey sells at atomic 25 DVD copies per year.
“People appear to the abbey because they adulation the movie,” said Pastor Kris Sachen. “People are aloof actually affected by this movie.”
Sachen had a decidedly agitating appointment with a blood-soaked war adept who visited the abbey aftermost Christmas.
“During the prayers, he said article about veterans so I went to allocution to him,” recalled Sachen. “He said aback he was blood-soaked in Afghanistan, he saw the cine and was so affected by it he vowed he would appear see this place. He so believed in the advantage of bodies during that time he was wounded, that he capital to see a abode area bodies are good. Not aloof the church, but all of Nevada City.”
Nevada Burghal Classic Café buyer Kirk Valentine said the cine continues to accomplish business for his restaurant added than a decade afterwards its release.
“The restaurant was featured in the blur in two key scenes,” said Valentine, who was an added in one of those scenes. “We accept bodies advancing into the restaurant who say they saw the blur and appetite to see what this little boondocks is all about. They adulation the assuming of our burghal and they ambition they could be allotment of a burghal like this sometime, somewhere.”
The café promotes its affiliation to “The Christmas Card” on its website, and additionally appearance the DVD awning at its entrance.
“There’s actually no catechism it has helped our basal line,” said Valentine. “People appetite to see this little restaurant and affix and be allotment of what the cine was all about.”
Celebrating the season, city
The cine was as abundant about Nevada Burghal and its association as it was the characters and its adventurous plot. At the time of the filming, biographer Joany Kane said, “It was a bout fabricated in heaven. The burghal actually is a appearance in the movie.”
Producer Lageson was accustomed with Nevada Burghal because both his parents grew up there.
“The aboriginal calligraphy set the adventure in Vermont,” said Lageson, abacus that account constraints fabricated filming in Vermont impossible. “We accomplished we were bound to Northern California. As I apprehend the script, in my apperception it screamed Nevada City.”
Lageson contacted Whittlesey at the alcove and asked her to accelerate him account postcards of Nevada Burghal and Victorian Christmas.
“I absolved into the offices at Hallmark, laid bottomward those postcards in advanced of everyone, and it was a accepted ‘yes’ that we’d go to Nevada City,” recalled Lageson.
Producers and others alive on the cine were in boondocks for eight weeks and absolute filming took 24 canicule in February 2005 — with Victorian Christmas scenes staged for the film. Aback the cine was released, a appropriate screening was captivated in Nevada City.
Just as the cine has helped put Nevada Burghal “on the map,” one bounded business has actually put the cine on a map.
Erin Thiem, buyer of the Outside Inn in Nevada City, accumulated her all-encompassing photography abilities with a hand-drawn map of Nevada Burghal to actualize a “Christmas Card” area walking tour.
“We’ve had the map for over bristles years,” said Theim. “A ‘Christmas Card’ cine fan will appointment us from extensive locations and ask for the map. It’s a different agglomeration of Hallmark admirers who travel, who watched this movie, and absitively to appear to the absolute abode area it was filmed. They appetite to bethink the adventures from the movie.”
Lageson said alike he is afraid at the abiding appulse the cine has had.
“I knew it’d be special,” said Lageson. “I knew the cine was activity to be admirable and attending amazing, but I did not apprehend how abundant the cine would bell with viewers. I’ve had bodies acquaint me the cine has become what ‘It’s a Admirable Life’ was for an earlier generation. Now adolescent families accede ‘The Christmas Card’ their ancestors anniversary amusement together.”
“I’m in awe that it has happened like this,” said Whittlesey. “Who would accept anticipation one cine would accompany so abundant to this town?”
Lorraine Jewett is a freelance biographer who lives in Nevada County. She can be accomplished at [email protected]
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