SAFETY HARBOR, Fla. (FOX 13) - The small-town charm of Safety Harbor has earned itself a leading role in Hollywood's latest endeavor. On Monday, cast and crew lined the downtown streets as filming kicked off for the Hallmark Channel film, Love in the Sun.
"I think it's very cool! For a little place that's so quaint and homey, it's now going to be well known all over the state," said Diane Ritz, a Safety Harbor resident.
Safety Harbor's local shops and businesses will serve as the backdrop for Hallmark's small-town love story.
"I think it just has a very quaint, kind of feel-good look and that is great for the storyline basically, it has that old school feel," said Christian Satrazemis, a crew member for Love in the Sun.
With the on-screen town bearing the Safety Harbor name, locals are excited for viewers to appreciate the charm they've grown to love.
"It gets us on the map, it gets us exposure, and it's just pretty cool having a movie made right here in our town," said David Deal, a Safety Harbor local.
Safety Harbor Mayor Joe Ayoub said he was approached by Hallmark just two short weeks ago with the idea to use Safety Harbor as the movie's backdrop. It's a request he said he was more than happy to approve.
"It's bringing a lot of attention to the city, the residents are really excited to showcase how great the city is," said Mayor Ayoub.
The scenery won't be the only thing Bay Area viewers might recognize as a few familiar faces might also be able to be spotted. Locals have had a chance to get their big break by playing extras in the background.
"I'm getting emails and text messages, people looking for opportunities to be an extra," the mayor continued. "They want to start their movie career!"
Producers have remained tight-lipped on the movie's story line, but that hasn't dulled the excitement.
"It's great for Safety Harbor for Hallmark to come here. It's such a neat little town with such great people," said Chris Culpepper, a nearby local who frequently visits Safety Harbor with his wife.
A small-town now in the spotlight on the big screen.
"That will be a conversation that comes up: 'I actually live there!'" exclaimed Ritz.
The movie will also shoot scenes at Treasure Island and downtown Tampa.
A release date has been set for the end of May, however it is still unknown who will be starring in the film.