Juzcar is a small town and municipality in the autonomous province of Andalusia, 113 km away from the city of Malaga and 25 km from Ronda. Once a traditional White Towns of Andalusia with whitewashed buildings, the picturesque hamlet changed its look in the summer of 2011, when it was chosen by Sony Pictures as the setting for the premiere of their new film “The Smurfs 3D". As a part of the campaign to promote the movie, Sony came up with an innovative idea to paint the whole village blue. That summer a team of 20 painters painted Júzcar's 175 buildings including the church, the town hall and gravestones. On July 23, ten days before the film hit movie theaters, the new "Smurf Town" hosted the special premiere with great fanfare.
After the promotion was over, Sony arrived at Júzcar to once again repaint the village white, the way it has always been, only to be refused by the village folk. The media exposure had such a positive effect on the village’s economy that the residents decided to keep the change permanent. An overwhelming 141 residents voted in favor to 33 against, that their homes should stay painted entirely in the unique hue.
Previously, the village saw only about 300 tourists a year, but in the past six months, since they painted themselves blue, an estimated 80,000 tourists have visited the place. Today the village even organizes special events such as Smurf painting competitions, a Smurf moonlight fun run, and Smurf trade fairs. There are even Smurf-themed weddings to keep tourists coming.
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