July 25, 2022

Way Out Yonder Where the Crawdads Sing

Photogragraph by: Southern Living
Over the years, Houma has garnered a reputation for being the ‘new Hollywood South,’ as our small community has been the backdrop for several major motion pictures. With critically acclaimed movies like Crazy in Alabama and Nicolas Sparks’ The Best of Me filmed right here in our backyard, it’s clear that we have something special to offer in our town filled with unique landscapes and historically rich architecture.Word spread quickly that famous actress and producer Reese Witherspoon was filming part of her new movie in Houma. And not just any movie, this was going to be an adaptation of a global best-selling book that many in our community had already fallen in love with.

Written by Delia Owens, Where the Crawdads Sing is an intriguing murder mystery set in 1950s (and 60s) North Carolina about Kya, a young girl left to survive on her own in the marsh. The nearby town of Barkley Cove is an integral component in Kya’s story where she ventures to and from throughout the novel.

Queue Houma. In June 2021, our Historic Downtown Main Street and local storefronts stepped back in time as they were transformed into Barkley Cove – complete with a Piggly Wiggly, Western Auto, an old-school barber shop, cinema and more! They even brought in an old rail bus and vintage cars to complete the look. Our small town buzzed with excitement as locals tried to catch a glimpse of the set and movie stars, and some were even offered the chance to stand in as extras!

“While this city is a screen favorite, here it offers something different than the voodoo cliches of Live and Let Die, the plantation horrors of 12 Years a Slave or even the beauty of the bayous seen in Beasts of the Southern Wild,” stated Conde Nast Traveller, depicting that Houma can fit a wider range of genres than traditional typecast stereotypes.

Fast forward to today. Where the Crawdads Sing released in theatres on Friday, July 15, 2022, raking in a whopping $17 million over the weekend and ranking second at the box office, trailing Thor: Love and Thunder and surpassing several newcomers, landing itself a very successful opening weekend! Unfortunately, all viewing party plans were cancelled due to our movie theatre still undergoing renovations following damages sustained from Hurricane Ida.

So, what does this mean for Houma?

Well for starters, it put Houma on the map, not just within the United States, but internationally! Because of this movie, Houma is featured in The London Times – London! We made it across the pond, y’all! Additionally, our small, bayou town has been the topic of several news stories and has been covered by countless bloggers and writers.

It has increased travel to Houma. Journalists, locals, movie scouts and tourists are making their way to Bayou Country to view firsthand where the movie was filmed – ultimately stimulating our local economy when they stay in our hotels, visit our attractions and dine at our restaurants.

So, if you haven’t yet, make your way to the movie theatre to catch our home sweet Houma on the big screen.


Read the story featured in The London Times here.