Vilano Beach vintage motel picked as backdrop for upcoming Netflix series

·3 min read

The fate of a vintage motel has been in limbo the last few years after its owners had trouble getting customers in the door.

Action News Jax was in St. Augustine at Magic Beach Motel and it might be getting renewed interest all because of Netflix productions.

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Here in Vilano Beach, Netflix productions is setting up lights as they get ready to turn Magic Beach Motel into a movie set.

Netflix won’t say why it’s here or which show it’s filming. Even so, residents are excited Vilano Beach will get its moment in the spotlight.

“It may be awesome — a friend said maybe we will see a star or something, I don’t know,” said Judy Johnson.

“It’s pretty awesome since it’s my first time being here and then you’ve got Netflix right there filming and everything, it’s really cool,” said Brittany Katz.

A person close to the Netflix production team says Netflix had been scouting “Florida motel” areas near Florida beaches for months and St. Augustine was the perfect option.

“I would like to see some of the filming or some of the action, that’d be neat,” said Judy Johnson.

Magic Beach Motel has been here since 1951. Locals say it’s part of what makes St. Augustine great, simply because it’s historic like much of the city.

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The vice president of operations for Magic Beach Motel, Shawn LeNoble, calls it an exciting experience for everyone, adding “Production companies like Netflix bring a huge financial impact to the area. From local hires, catering, room nights and other rentals and purchases, this is a great event for the community.”

“Definitely get a lot of business,” said Brittany Katz.

This week, Netflix has booked over 800 room nights in the area for its new series. Half of those crew members are Floridians.

Those working alongside Netflix’s production team — which include Film Florida — say Florida lacks film incentives but landing this Netflix series was a blessing because it almost went to Georgia.

Netflix productions will be at Magic City Beach Motel until Wednesday and in Vilano Beach until Thursday.

Here is a list of information on road closures or traffic delays if you live in the area or plan on visiting:

  • Vilano Road will be closed from Tuesday, Aug. 30 at 5 p.m. through Wednesday, Aug. 31 at 10 a.m.

  • Beachfront parking in Vilano will be closed from 5 p.m. to 10 a.m.

  • Vehicular access onto Vilano Beach will remain open from 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

  • Vehicular beach access will be rerouted to head west on Vilano Road and to Ferrol Road.

  • A road closure will occur on Vivian Browning Avenue (Poplar) from 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 30, until 8 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 31.

  • Traffic will be rerouted west onto Vilano Road for access to Vilano Town Center and homes from Ferrol Road through Porpoise Point.

  • St. Johns County Sheriff’s deputies will be stationed at Coastal Highway and Poplar Avenue, as well as Coastal Highway and Vilano Road eastward.

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