Can you spot Macon in Marvel’s “Black Widow?”

The+AMSTAR+16+theater+in+Macon+is+showing+Black+Widow%2C+but+most+moviegoers+can%27t+pick+out+Macon%27s+scenes+in+the+film.

Micah Johnston

The AMSTAR 16 theater in Macon is showing Black Widow, but most moviegoers can’t pick out Macon’s scenes in the film.

While Macon has been a filming spot for Hollywood blockbusters in the past, “Black Widow” is one of the most anticipated films to use Macon as a backdrop.

The latest entry in the Marvel cinematic universe starring Scarlett Johannson and Florence Pugh has attracted attention from both diehard Marvel movie fans and critics, but can Maconites actually spot the scenes that feature downtown Macon?

According to many Macon moviegoers interviewed after seeing the film, the answer is no. Multiple viewers said they couldn’t pick out Macon from any of the scenes when they watched the movie. Some people exiting the theater said they didn’t even know the movie was filmed in Macon.

“I wonder if it’s just been so long ago that it has kind of lost its recency,” said Aaron Buzza, the Camera-Ready Liaison for Macon Film Commission and the COO of VisitMacon. “We shared the trailers when they first came out and said, ‘Here’s where Macon is,’ but even that was months ago.”

It has been more than a year and a half since Black Widow filmed in downtown Macon, an event that Buzza helped coordinate. The Marvel crew scouted the Macon locations at the beginning of 2019 and  the scenes in October of that year.

The poster for Marvel’s “Black Widow” is displayed outside of the AMSTAR 16 movie theater in Macon. (Micah Johnston)

The crew eventually selected downtown Macon’s Terminal Station to serve as a New York train station in the movie. The scene takes place at the beginning of the movie so it may have been easy to forget unless viewers kept their eyes peeled.

Back in 2019 when the location was being scouted, the Marvel crew wanted to film in some places that might have been more recognizable to an average Macon citizen.

“Initially, when they were first scouting, they weren’t even thinking about Terminal Station,” Buzza said. “They came looking at schools, so they were trying to recreate an American neighborhood.”

Buzza said that the choice for Terminal Station was “serendipitous.” The Marvel location scout saw the Terminal Station and asked to take pictures on a whim.

“It was exactly what they needed,” Buzza said. “The producers loved it, the production designer loved it and they thought they could do quite a bit in there, and obviously they did.”

A sign reading “terminal” is visible at one point in the scene, along with the sides of the Tubman Museum and the Sports Hall of Fame. These three landmarks make up the most recognizable depiction of Macon in the movie.

“I think going in, if you have that sense of ‘I should be looking for something,’ then it should be easy to pick out,” Buzza said.

“Black Widow” was officially released in theaters and on Disney+ July 9, surpassing $100 billion of box-office revenue in just six days