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Courthouse turns into hotel for film

Filming crews continue to finish the set inside the Newton County historic courthouse on Monday for the upcoming filming of the movie, “Selma.” As a result, members of the public wishing to attend today’s Board of Commissioners meeting will need to use an alternate entrance. “Selma” will depict the historical period of Martin Luther King Jr.’s 1965 voting rights campaign, which led to the enactment of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by President Lyndon B. Johnson. (Staff photo: Jessicah Peters)

Filming crews continue to finish the set inside the Newton County historic courthouse on Monday for the upcoming filming of the movie, “Selma.” As a result, members of the public wishing to attend today’s Board of Commissioners meeting will need to use an alternate entrance. “Selma” will depict the historical period of Martin Luther King Jr.’s 1965 voting rights campaign, which led to the enactment of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by President Lyndon B. Johnson. (Staff photo: Jessicah Peters)

COVINGTON — Hollywood took over the Newton County historic courthouse on Monday to transform it into the Hotel Albert for the filming of the feature film, “Selma.”

The filming is expected to cause a few delays around the Square from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday. Those planning to attend the Newton County Board of Commissioners meeting at 7 p.m. will need to go into the courthouse from the back entrance and either park at the Judicial Center, behind the courthouse located on Usher Street, or in the spaces adjacent to the BB&T bank.

County Commission Chairman Keith Ellis said the Covington-Newton Chamber of Commerce trolley will be transporting citizens from the judicial center parking lot to the BOC meeting throughout the night.

Filming will continue through 2 a.m. Thursday. Ellis said the county received $5,500 from the film production, which will go toward the county employees fund.

Filming locations include the Newton County Historic Courthouse, located at 1124 Clark St., but the filming will also cause street closures on Monticello, Washington and Hays streets.

According to IMDb.com, Oprah Winfrey and Brad Pitt are named as producers along with director Ava DuVarney, who is known for her work with “Spider-Man 2,” “Collateral” and “I, Robot. The film’s status is listed in pre-production, and also names the cast and crew members as well as directors and producers.

The film will depict the historical period of King’s 1965 voting rights campaign, which led to the enactment of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by President Lyndon B. Johnson. His campaign included three attempts at organizing a march from Selma, Ala., to the state’s capital, the first two of which were thwarted by police.