A Gainesville man is being remembered for his Cumming antiques mall and his pioneering work with the state's film industry.
Ed Spivia, 78, passed away July 27 after a long battle with Lewy Body Dementia.
Spivia was best known at the state level for putting Georgia on the map as a great location for filmmakers.
In 1968, he went to work for the state Department of Industry and Trade where, after visiting the “Deliverance” film site in Rabun County he conceived the idea of Georgia becoming a desirable location for movie and television producers. He presented this concept to then-Gov. Jimmy Carter who chose Spivia to develop the Georgia Film Commission, luring film production to the state as part of his economic development initiative. The effort began in earnest in 1972, and in the next 10 years, over 200 films were produced in Georgia, including box office blockbusters like “Smokey and the Bandit,” “Conrak,” “The Longest Yard” and “The Big Chill.”
In 1983, Spivia and several partners created what became the nationally acclaimed Lakewood Antiques Market on the grounds of the old Lakewood Fairgrounds in south Atlanta, bringing thousands of shoppers and dealers monthly onto the site. Later, he moved the market to Cumming, and Lakewood 400 Antiques Market now regularly attracts more than 200 dealers.
The family planned a private celebration of his life.
(Click here for the obituary.)