Retro Charlotte

1975: “Movin’ On” TV show films in Charlotte

Anna Mae throws "policeman" onto roof of cruiser in front of Wachovia.
Anna Mae throws "policeman" onto roof of cruiser in front of Wachovia. The Charlotte Observer/Charlotte News

In August of 1975 the “Movin’ On” production company came to Charlotte, filming scenes for an episode (“The Elephant Story” )and a movie (“Will the Last Trucker Leaving Charlotte Please Turn Out the Lights” ).

The Charlotte News was on the scene, August 20, 1975 - here’s an excerpt.

Action! Downtown Workers Ogle TV Stars, Say It’s Exciting

“Isn’t this exciting,” Marie Leon said, “I’ll never get to work on time.”

The Mutual Savings and Loan employee was just one of the people probably late to work in the central business district this morning as the crew of NBC TV’s “Movin’ On” series moved into downtown Charlotte to film scenes for the show.

Traffic was blocked on Tryon St. from Stonewall to Sixth St. and on Second St. from College to Church streets to clear the way for the action.

Today’s shooting called for an elephant named Anna Mae to escape from the big truck driven by stars Frank Converse and Claude Akins and to wreak havoc on Tryon St. by the Wachovia Building before being subdued by guest star Keenan Wynn.

Crowds estimated by police at between 200 and 300 jammed Tryon St. as Anna Mae took center stage.

Anna Mae, in real life a gentle 29-year-old elephant from Ringling Brothers’ Circus World, repeatedly charged from the back of a trailer parked by the Wachovia building, tossed an actor-policeman onto the hood of a nearby truck and lumbered off across the plaza in front of the bank building.

A wreck scene involving several cars and a pick-up truck full of vegetables was planned for this afternoon. Charlotte racing driver and stuntman Neil (Soapy) Castles was to be the driver of one of the cars in the spectacular accident staged at Second and Tryon streets.