Centralia, Pennsylvania as a mainstream TV show? It might just happen.
Last week, Deadline broke the news that NBC acquired the rights to produce a pilot episode of Centralia. Written and produced by Meredith Averillhe, the show is rumored to be based on the real town of Centralia, Pennsylvania. According to Deadline’s sources, the story follows the last residents of the town who are unaware that an evil presence is making its way to the surface. There’s no word on if or when the show will make its debut.
While NBC explores a fictional series about Centralia, director Joe Sapienza II has issued a press release (found below) providing the latest update on his true-to-life documentary, Centralia, Pennsylvania’s Lost Town. Along with a photo gallery of stills, Sapienza has graciously provided a new link to the 17 minute preview of the film [Removed due to copyright infringement, like the previous version]. Unfortunately, the previous version had to be removed due to copyright infringement.
Centralia, Pennsylvania’s Lost Town is now officially in post-production and slated to debut in June 2016 [Update: Film to be released in Spring ’17], after which it will play at film festivals around the globe. Stay tuned for more updates about Sapienza’s Centralia documentary and NBC’s show.
A DOCUMENTARY ABOUT CENTRALIA THAT WILL NEVER AIR ON NBC
If you want real stories and a sincere, down-to-earth documentary about Centralia, then look no further. Centralia, Pennsylvania’s Lost Town is not about a scary, abandoned, ghost incarcerated, toxic town. That’s not what Centralia is or ever was.
This feature length documentary about Centralia & Byrnesville has headed into the production labs! We are now officially in post-production with over 2 terra-bytes of footage and interviews, as well as a budget to actually move forward.
From Christmas in Centralia, to the fall and hot summer months, plus plenty of steam from the remaining fires, we cover every nook, cranny, and season in Centralia and Byrnesville from the past two years. In addition, there are plenty of photos and vintage footage to bring the viewer back in time to the way the town once was.
A special thanks to Dave DeKok and Tom Dempsey who helped us greatly along the way, to Andy Ostrowski and Don Bailey who provided insights into the lawsuit filed by residents against Pennsylvania so they might reside in their homes for life, and to Bobby Hughes from EPCAMR who spoke about Centralia’s layers of mine tunnels, the fire in them, and the ground subsidence visible from above.
Encouraging people to talk about Centralia was not an easy task. It often took months to schedule interviews. Some interviews with former residents happened just by luck. We were fortunate to connect with Isabelle Dzwonczwk, a young woman who attends the film and video department at Drexel University and who happens to be the grand-daughter of the Coddington family.
As a result, we were able to have her family come to Centralia to tell their story. They also brought along their former neighbors, the Gadinskis. Another great help was Patrick Rooney, a former resident of Byrnesville and a Centralia Legion member. He spoke with us about the Legion and what life was like in the small town of Byrnesville.
When we were out shooting in Centralia, guaranteed every time, at least five people would drive up and ask us, “Where can we find the fire and where is the Graffiti Highway located?” Centralia and Byrnesville have a massive story beyond the fire and Graffiti Highway. Centralia, Pennsylvania’s Lost Town will tell that story through those who were there first hand.
In June 2016, a rough-cut of the documentary will be screened for former residents and their families, along with the crew and people interviewed. From there, it will kick off at film festivals worldwide during the fall of 2016 and into 2017. Finally, we are happy to include a new opening song for the film by the band Jucifer, who also made a song about Centralia. In return, they will be using some of our footage from Centralia in their music video.
The post-production team includes:
- Ariel Benton
- Matt Hepworth
- Rachel Tinkelman
- Joe Sapienza