DERIDDER, La. (KPLC) - Just last year, 7News reported the DeRidder Gothic Jail would be featured in a Netflix movie. “Eli”, a movie about a young boy with a rare disease being treated at an isolated clinic, premiered Friday.
“For me personally, it was a heartfelt moment," Lori Darbonne, the executive director of the Beauregard Tourism Commission, said when talking about when she saw the jail in the trailer.
Darbonne said this kind of exposure is remarkable.
“We know the impact for tourism will be substantial. We know we can’t possibly buy this kind of marketing for our area because the type of marketing we would typically do would only touch the surface," Darbonne said.
The facade of the jail is used in the movie “Eli”. Darbonne told 7News last year the production team planned to superimpose the jail over a location they found in New Orleans.
“They came out to the jail and did a digital scan of the jail. It took them about 3 to 4 hours to do the scan. They flew in, and took the scan. I’m sure they did a lot of editing to the jail to use it in this picture," she said.
Not only does Darbonne hope it will bring more tourists to the jail but the owner of Cecil’s — Jon Doyle — said he hopes it will help local businesses like his, too.
“You know, it’s a historic site, we’re a historic building here. We get tourists all over the country that come to look at the jail already. So, of course the haunted house throughout October helps, and then the movie should boost it even more," Doyle said. “Who knows when we’ll have another Netflix movie if we ever have one.”
Darbonne said she hopes this movie has a lasting impact.
“We’ve seen what ‘The Shining’ did for The Stanley Hotel in Colorado-- that would be our hopes that we could see the same for our gothic jail here in DeRidder," she said.