• City officials say temporary inconvenience worth economic benefit of show's filming

    By: Kathryn Burcham


    MONROE, N.C. - City officials in Monroe are excited about economic growth thanks to a new television show filmed in downtown.

    The new Cinemax series "Banshee" began filming on Monday, nearly a year after another high profile series on Showtime, "Homeland," used Monroe for several scenes.

    City officials said the show shoots are putting Monroe on a national stage, bringing tens of thousands of dollars in revenue and jobs to the area.

    The show's producers have already paid $10,000 to county officials for use of the historic courthouse on Monroe's square in downtown.

    Local vendors are also being used in several scenes, and hundreds of residents have been hired as extras in the cast.

    But some downtown business owners are unhappy with the street closures and lack of parking the chaos has created.

    "We've had one paying customer today. Right now, sales are down 75 percent for the week," said Renn Farmer, owner of Renn's Nest boutique downtown.

    Farmer said many customers have been scared off by the film crews, and worried other small business owners are feeling the pinch, too.

    "We have to pay rent, we have to keep payroll going, certain things we have to do, and we depend on a certain amount of money each week to keep things flowing," Farmer said.

    But the show's producers maintain all of the affected businesses are receiving some sort of compensation, and city officials said the temporary inconvenience is worth the overall economic growth.

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