Henry River Mill Village has become a tourist destination since before the movie “The Hunger Games” opened. The SyFy Channel show “Hollywood Treasures” was at the village today to flim an episode.
With the popularity of the movie “The Hunger Games,” interest in Henry River Mill Village continues to grow.
The SyFy Channel was at the village on Tuesday filming an episode of the second season of “Hollywood Treasures,” and the show’s host, Joe Maddalena, was at the village looking for anything left behind from the movie.
The show is a documentary reality show based on Maddalena’s life as he travels the world hunting down Hollywood treasures to sell at auction. Maddalena has been hunting treasures for 26 years and owns a business in Los Angeles, “Profiles in History.”
Maddalena said the episode also could help the property’s owner, Wade Shepherd, sell the village that stood as the home for “The Hunger Games” heroine Katniss Everdeen.
He talked about how beautiful the property is and how people may have the misconception that it’s in the middle of nowhere.
“I think that’s one thing we’ll do on the show is convey how amazing this property is and how amazing this location is,” Maddalena said. “It’s like out of a Norman Rockwell painting.”
Maddalena added, “It’s just a nice experience.”
The show arrived at the village early Tuesday morning and was still there at lunchtime.
Maddalena, whose parents were antique dealers, said he was intrigued with the idea of helping Shepherd sell the property. He thinks there is a market for the property beyond just real estate, maybe something that could give visitors “The Hunger Games” experience. The old mill village store and some homes still remain on the 72-acre site. The asking price for the property is $1.4 million.
Maddalena said he can envision maybe a bed and breakfast business on the property, or a micro-brewery and maybe something called “Peeta’s Bakery,” to play off the name of one of the movie’s main characters.
But Shepherd may not need help selling the property.
Ed Phillips, executive director of Burke County Travel and Tourism, said, “Wade has indicated that he is expecting an offer from a prospective buyer any day.” He said the prospective buyer is not local but the belief is the buyer would preserve the property.
In the meantime, Phillips and Burke County Travel and Tourism will continue to promote the area as a filming site for “The Hunger Games.” He said the organization plans to sell T-shirts, both fitted and traditional styles, which say, “District 12” with the words “Real or not real” written below. The words “Real or not real,” refer to the ambiguity of the relationship between the characters Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark, who are both competitors in the “Hunger Games” and both from District 12. “The Hunger Games” movie is the first in a book trilogy from author Suzanne Collins. Other books in the trilogy are “Catching Fire,” and “Mockingjay.”
The movie was the top-rated movie at the box office for four consecutive weekends, until it was displaced just this past weekend. To date, it has grossed $357.1 million.
Phillips said the T-shirts are all women’s sizes, because women are the ones that have expressed the most interest in the movie filming. He said he hopes to have the T-shirts for sale by Thursday. The price for the T-shirt will be around $20, Phillips said, and can be purchased at the travel and tourism office at 110 East Meeting St., in Morganton. The office is located in the same building as Burke County Chamber of Commerce.
The second season of “Hollywood Treasures” will start May 22 on the SyFy channel and airs at 10 p.m., Maddalena said.