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Hollywood on the Iron Range: Movie studio moves into Chisholm's old city hall

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The movie gods are smiling on Chisholm, Minnesota, which could well become the Hollywood of the upper Midwest.

That's because the town's historic city hall is the new home of Ironbound Studios Minnesota, which for months has been in negotiations with Chisholm to set up shop in the building.

According to MPR News, Mayor Mike Jugovich said on Thursday the city and the production company have reached a $2.5 million "lease-purchase agreement," which will allow local officials to set up operations in a new, more "efficient" city hall that better suits their needs.

Jugovich foresees economic benefits, including local jobs, for the Iron Range town, the Hibbing Daily Tribune reports.

Ironbound, meanwhile, calls the new development "an exciting step in the future" of the Iron Range, according to their website.

The company, they say, was created to "establish a base infrastructure for the burgeoning film industry" in the region.

Indeed, Minnesota has been attracting Hollywood's interest as of late, due in part to the state's "snowbate" program, which reimburses film companies for up to 25 percent of their production costs.

The incentive drew "Wilson," a high-profile film starring Woody Harrelson, to Minnesota. It recently wrapped filming in the Twin Cities.

Ironbound Studios could make the state even more attractive to the film industry. Founder Jerry Seppala tells MPR that a lack of movie-making infrastructure and film equipment has been a "challenge to producing more movies" in the region – a problem the new studio can help resolve.

And the cameras will start rolling soon. The Hibbing Daily Tribune says the studio plans to start shooting “The Legends of Grimrock,” a $4 million production starring Jason Patric, in November.

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