Editor’s note: Emma Loggins is the editor of Fanbolt.com, an fan news site that specializes in behind-the-scenes information and interviews with the casts and crews of entertainment franchises with organized fan bases.
Atlanta, Georgia is no stranger to the supernatural when it comes to film or television. AMC’s hugely popular “The Walking Dead” and CW’s “The Vampire Diaries” both film episodes around the city. With local fans stargazing at the (heavily makeuped) undead, it was just a matter of time before their geek out sessions turned into money-making business ventures.
And that’s exactly how several Atlanta-based tour companies were born.
Carrie Sagel Burns and Patti Davis, both fans of “The Walking Dead,” recently started Atlanta Movie Tours, and launched their first tour this March. Their signature tour, the Big Zombie Tour, features a number of rotating guides – all local actors who appeared in “Zombieland” or “The Walking Dead.”
The “Big Zombie Tour” is a 3-hour walking and driving tour of Atlanta’s zombie hangouts. Fans can count on seeing locations they’ll recognize from season one and two of “The Walking Dead.”
In fact, one of the most surprising parts of the tour may be that some of those sets are still fully intact, in downtown Atlanta. Chains used to keep the zombies out of the fictional store Bradbury’s (where Andrea debates stealing a mermaid pendant for Amy in episode 2) are still wrapped around the logoed doors.
One of the show’s most recognizable locations, the Nelson Street bridge – the eerie post-apocalyptic looking bridge that Rick (Andrew Lincoln) rode his horse across – has delighted many fans on tour. But bustling cities like Atlanta are always evolving and expanding, and that’s a fact Burns and Davis have to deal with. The Nelson Street bridge is set for demolition this summer, so the Big Zombie Tour will have to leave it behind.
Even so, tours like these allow fans to view filming locations that the general public does not have access to, like the quarry seen in season 1 of “The Walking Dead.” The quarry location was actually just rented out by J.J. Abrams for filming his new NBC pilot “Revolution” which premieres on September 17th, doubling its fan voyeurism factor.