© 2022 All Rights reserved WUSF
News, Jazz, NPR
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Arts / Culture

'Live By Night' Set Here - Not Filmed Here

State Archives of Florida
Tampa's Ybor City, 1926

This Christmas, a new movie based on Dennis Lehane's "Live By Night" is coming out. It's a story about a wayward son of a Boston cop who moves to Tampa's Ybor City and gets into bootlegging and becomes a gangster. Author Lehane divides his time between his native Boston and Florida, where he teaches creative writing.  

While Ybor City's part of the Live By Night story, the Tampa neighborhood itself never made the cut, because of the lack of tax incentives for filmmakers. And eagle-eyed locals will notice the hills in the movie and that those brick buildings in the film don't belong to Tampa's "Cigar City."

Tampa Bay Times film critic Steve Persall said, "The loss was the immediate loss as far as just not having people from our area who do have craft skills, who do have acting talents, them not being able to get involved with a process like that for awhile."

The people behind the movie, including its star and director Ben Affleck, actually came to Ybor City a few years ago to scout out locations, but in the end, coastal Georgia was picked because tax incentives were there. 

Live By Night will be out in limited release on Christmas Day. 

WUSF 89.7 depends on donors for the funding it takes to provide you the most trusted source of news and information here in town, across our state, and around the world. Support WUSF now by giving monthly, or make a one-time donation online.