"Fast and Furious 7" filmed at Historic Oakland Cemetery this week.
Photo: contributed
Photo: contributed

Movie filming, events keep things lively at Oakland Cemetery

Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today … to make a movie.

Atlanta’s cherished Historic Oakland Cemetery, whose famous residents in perpetuity include Margaret Mitchell and Bobby Jones, welcomed some above-ground notables this week when “Fast and Furious 7” filmed there.

“It was a big production, but the crew was very professional and respectful of the cemetery,” said David Moore, executive director of Historic Oakland Foundation. “We saw the stars but had to keep our distance and cameras under wraps.”

The scene included Vin Diesel, Jason Statham and Paul Walker, but we’re not sure who the dearly departed was. The movie, also starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez and Tyrese Gibson along with rappers-turned-actors Ludacris and Bow Wow, also has filmed at a correctional center in southwest Atlanta, and continues filming Saturday downtown. A notice posted on the Castleberry Hill Neighborhood Association’s website lists a number of streets around the Georgia Dome affected by the filming. If you’re headed that way Saturday, plan on some possible traffic impact.

At Oakland, things wrapped up with minimal impact to the historic site. Moore mused that the equipment and muscle cars involved in the shoot are “not what our residents are used to seeing.”

“All in all, it was a successful shoot,” Moore said. “I am happy that the ‘Fast and Furious 7’ decedent was given an historic sendoff.”

Oakland, a 48-acre Victorian-style garden cemetery founded in 1850, is a city park, so while the filming was licensed by the city of Atlanta and the Georgia Film Commission, the production company did not have to pay to film there. We’re hearing that Universal Pictures, the studio behind the billion-dollar franchise, is considering a donation to the Historic Oakland Foundation.

Now that the filming is completed, Oakland is gearing up for events including the 34th Annual Sunday in the Park festival from noon to 6 p.m. Oct. 6 (suggested donation is $5 per person at the gate, free for kids 3 and younger); Halloween season tours beginning at 5:30 pm. Oct. 18 and 19 and Oct. 24-27 (tickets are $20 for adults, $10 for kids 4-12 and free for kids 3 and younger and must be purchased in advance at TicketAlternative.com); and the Run Like Hell 5K/Run Like Heck Fun Run starting at 9 a.m. Oct. 19 (registration is $27 for the 5K and $20 for the fun run).

Event proceeds benefit the Historic Oakland Foundation. For details, see www.oaklandcemetery.com.

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