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Cin-tillating Cincinnati

America’s first boom town presents an eclectic mix of urban and pastoral that will charm the camera

Cincinnati is often referred to as the first ‘purely American city’. It is in Northern Kentucky, which largely forms the Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky metropolitan area and destinations lying on either sides of the Ohio River. It is the personification of urbanisation, greenery and cultural confluence.

Located at the Ohio-Kentucky border, Cincinnati is the third-largest metropolis in the US state of Ohio, while Northern Kentucky consists of the northern-most counties (Boone, Kenton and Campbell) of Kentucky. The suburbs of these regions possess a populace of varied demographics – some townships are sparsely populated, while others are crowded. On the whole, they have beautiful, well-developed settlements that boast their standard of living as well as picturesque surroundings with facades to be captured on camera.

Cincinnati is known as ‘America’s first boomtown city’ and embraces the largest collection of 19th century Italianate architecture in the country, thus making it an important city for tourism. And all these pristine edifices are north to the Downtown neighbourhood, in an area called Over-the-Rhine. The latter is said to be the largest and most intact urban district within the city. Also, with the contribution of 943 buildings, it is included in the National Register of Historic Places.

The cityscape of Cincinnati includes sweeping skyscrapers along the city’s riverfront, swanky bars and restaurants asking you unravel the evening, extending to the wee hours. The conurbation has received umpteen accolades for its livelihood, arts community and hospitality of the Cincinnatians. Also, it is home to many noteworthy structures known for their architectural characteristics. Carew Tower, Scripps Center, Ingalls Building, Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal and the Isaac M Wise Temple are some locales that can keep your itinerary choc-a-bloc.

Northern Kentucky has plenty of locales to be used as backdrops in the movies. Covington, Erlanger, Newport, Independence, Fort Thomas and Alexandria are some famous cities of the region. Covington, separated from Cincinnati by the Ohio River, has many historical churches. The Covington-Cincinnati Suspension bridge over the Ohio River dazzles at night when illuminated with yellow-neon lights. Cinematographically, it is resplendent!

A sparsely populated and quiet town, the City of Alexandria is away from the hustle and bustle but still has enough to lure day-trippers. The rolling hills and valley in the background add to the charisma of this settlement.

These locations may not be as advanced as other major metropolitans but they have striking landscapes and beautiful skylines, catching the fancy of many tourists. In addition, the whopping tax credits of Ohio and Kentucky further enhance the opulence of this region.


Tax Credit (OH)

The recently passed Film Tax Credit, strongly advocated by the Cincinnati Film Commission, encourages production activity across the state of Ohio through a refundable credit against the corporation franchise or tax credit for motion pictures, including:

Feature Length Films

Any Format of Digital Media

Equal to 25 per cent of non-wage and non-resident wage production expenditures and 35 per cent of Ohio resident wage production expenditures, each motion picture can receive up to $ 5 million in credits per production. A total of $ 20 million in credits are available in 2011.


Kentucky recently joined the growing number of states with incentive programmes for the film industry. Qualified productions can take advantage of either the sales tax refund incentive or a newly created refundable income tax credit incentive of up to 20 per cent of approved expenditures, including:

• Production Script

• Set Construction and Operations

• Wardrobe and Accessories

• Photography, Sound, Lighting and Related Services

• Editing

• Food and Accommodations

• Vehicle Leases

• Lease or Property Rental in KY as a Set Location

The incentive is available to feature films spending at least $ 500,000 and documentaries spending a minimum of $ 50,000 in the state of Kentucky. All applications will be reviewed and approved by the KY Film Office, Secretary of the Tourism, Arts & Heritage Cabinet, the Finance and Administration Cabinet and the Kentucky Tourism Development Finance Authority.


After 30 days, one is no longer considered transient, so you get back all 10.5 per cent room tax.


Kentucky’s programme entitles eligible motion picture and television production companies to a refund of 6 per cent sales and use tax on expenditures made in connection with the production.


The City of Cincinnati requires a permit and insurance, but no fee. Some parks and public spaces require minimal fees. The City of Newport requires only a licence, and the City of Covington requires a permit and fee. The Film Commission facilitates all communications and meetings regarding permits and street and bridge closure.

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