Making its film debut in 1998, “The Truman Show” helped make the town of Seaside famous. As the setting for the story about Truman Burgank, a regular nice guy who unknowingly stars in the most famous reality television show of all time, people were surprised to discover that a town — minus the dome, spying cameras and TV actors — really existed.
“Seaside was well known in a limited circle before the movie,” says Robert Davis. “Mostly among architects, designers and urbanists. And it had been published in the popular press, but this brought other people to Seaside who might not have an interest in architecture and new urban design, it made a real difference.”
Paramount Pictures brought 300 crew members and a Hollywood budget, which helped the local economy recover from Hurricane Opal in 1995. Seaside became home to hundreds of new temporary residents from Hollywood, creating buzz and excitement in the 30A community like never before. The impact is still felt nearly 20 years after filming, drawing a new group of curious visitors who love seeing sights that were shown in the movie.
The film included several locals as extras, including Robert and Daryl Davis, Dave Rauschkolb, Charles and Sara Modica, as well as their son, Charles Jr.
The project benefited the Seaside Neighborhood School, with location fees paid by Paramount helping to build the first building.