The City of Perris is a great place to make a movie.
Want to do an action or sports-themed film? No better place than the Perris Skydive Center of the Perris Auto Speedway, both world class facilities for extreme sports adventures.
How about a western or period movie? The City boasts an 1892 Victorian era train depot, the 1886 Southern Hotel, the 1910-era Bank of Perris and the Orange Empire Railway Museum, home to one of the largest collections of railroad passenger cars and engines and vintage trolley carriages.
The art deco Perris theatre served as the location for the horror film “There’s No Such Thing as Vampires,” which is set for release this year. It’s one of several films shot in and around Perris.
The City Council this week took advantage of Perris’ history with moviemakers, approving at its meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 14, an ordinance creating the “Perris Film Incentive Program.”
City Councilmember Tonya Burke proposed the incentive as a way to raise the Perris profile in the entertainment industry, highlight some of the City’s iconic locations, stoke businesses like restaurants, caterers, hardware stores and construction firms and provide jobs to local residents.
“A lot of people do not know about the hidden gems we have in our City,” Burke said this week. “Now they won’t be hidden. A lot of the movie industry has left Southern California because it’s so expensive. But we’re right here in Southern California with a lot of great locations to film in and around. It’s a win-win situation. I believe this incentive program will bring in more money for our City, more jobs for our residents.”
The program, funded by the City’s Community Economic Development Corp. (CEDC), provides a grant of up to $5,000 if expenditures on a film/television show shoot totals at least $25,000. The producers also must acknowledge the "Perris Film Incentive Program" in production credits.
The “Perris Film Incentive Program" includes a waiver of base film permit fee, incentives, resource support services, creation of a "one stop shop" film permitting / marketing office and a dedicated web site through the City and the Perris CEDC. The program also establishes a “virtual film office online” to provide comprehensive information for filming and photo shoots. Links will be provided to film permit information and updated forms and a location photo library.
“The purpose is to stimulate additional economic activity generated by film/photo crews who stay in hotels or vacation rentals, eat in City restaurants and utilize various local production resources,” wrote Michael McDermott, Interim Deputy City Manager, in a staff report outlining the incentive program. “As filming/photo shoots can take place over days, weeks and in some cases months, the economic impact can be substantial.”
Perris is no stranger to the Hollywood lights.
The coming-of-age movie “Calendar Girl” was filmed in Perris in the early 1990s. Scenes from the 1920s era movie “Changeling (starring Angelina Jolie and directed by Clint Eastwood) were filmed at the railway museum. Scenes from the Jack Nicholson/Morgan Freeman movie “Bucket List” were filmed at the Skydive Center. Scenes from “Space Cowboys” (another Eastwood effort) were filmed in the Perris Valley.
Additional outreach detailing the program will include the University of California, Riverside, Film School; Inland Empire Film Commission; and the California Film Commission.