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On Location

Making your business the star of the big screen could mean big bucks and local exposure.

By Nichole L. Torres • Dec 1, 2003

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

When Steven and Scott Parker rented out Watson Drugs, their1950s-era drugstore and soda fountain, to the Hollywood filmcommunity, it was more than a favor. For this father-and-son team,permitting Tom Hanks and his crew to film the 1996 movie ThatThing You Do! in their Orange, California, establishment was away to keep their business alive.

No strangers to filming, Steven, 43, and Scott, 60, had allowedboth TV and film to be shot within their vintage walls since Scottpurchased the store in the 1970s. "When [Hanks' crew]filmed here, we were having a really hard time keeping our headsabove water," says Scott. The rental fee paid by theproduction helped get Watson Drugs over the rough spot. Moreimportant, the film drummed up sustained interest in the store andthe local community. Today, wide-eyed tourists regularly visitWatson Drugs to the tune of more than $4 million in annualsales.

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