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TV movie 'Bountiful' filming in Porterdale

Vintage Greyhound buses are parked in Porterdale’s city lots as filming of “The Trip to Bountiful” continues through Tuesday. The Lifetime TV movie tells the 1940s story of an elderly Texas woman who dreams of returning to her girlhood home. (Special Photo)

Vintage Greyhound buses are parked in Porterdale’s city lots as filming of “The Trip to Bountiful” continues through Tuesday. The Lifetime TV movie tells the 1940s story of an elderly Texas woman who dreams of returning to her girlhood home. (Special Photo)

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The former Smiley’s restaurant building in downtown Porterdale has been transformed into a 1940s-era bus station for filming of “The Trip to Bountiful.” (Special Photo)

PORTERDALE — Movie crews will be in Porterdale through Tuesday for filming of the Lifetime TV movie version of the Broadway play, “The Trip to Bountiful.” The production stars Cicely Tyson, Vanessa Williams and Blair Underwood.

Teri Haler, Porterdale Downtown director, said film crews have been in Porterdale scouting locations for some time. Wednesday was the first day of filming.

“The Trip to Bountiful” tells the 1940s story of an elderly Houston, Texas, woman who dreams of returning to her girlhood home of Bountiful. Tyson plays the role of Carrie Watts, who has to outwit her son and daughter-in-law in Houston in order to return to Bountiful. Williams plays the daughter-in-law and Underwood portrays the central character’s son.

Haler said scenes depicting both Houston and Bountiful will be shot in Porterdale. A house on Ivey Street has been chosen as the scene of the central character’s home in Bountiful, she said.

Tim Savage, who owns the former Smiley’s restaurant building in downtown Porterdale, said set crews have repainted the building and built it out as a Greyhound bus terminal of the era.

Savage said the film activity has been an economic boost for Porterdale.

“They came in and they are pouring money into the city and the local area,” he said.

“The Trip to Bountiful” was originally written for TV in 1953 before becoming a Broadway play a year later. Tyson won a Tony Award for her portrayal of Carrie Watts in the most recent Broadway production.

“The Trip to Bountiful” is expected to air on the Lifetime channel sometime next year.