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The Town That Was
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The Town That Was (2007) More at IMDbPro »

The Town That Was -- A town in Pennsylvania has been burning for fifty years.


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Down 26% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Chris Perkel (co-director)
Georgie Roland (co-director)
View company contact information for The Town That Was on IMDbPro.
Home is where the fire is.
Portrait of John Lokitis, the youngest of 11 remaining residents of Centralia, Pennsylvania, a town destroyed by an underground mine fire. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
1 nomination See more »
DVD Playhouse--May 2009
 (From The Hollywood Interview. 11 May 2009, 11:22 PM, PDT)

User Reviews:
Brief documentary regarding one of the heralded underground mine fires See more (3 total) »


  (in credits order)
John Lokitis ... Himself
John Coddington ... Himself (Archive Footage)
David DeKok ... Himself
Todd Domboski ... Himself
Colleen Dzwonzyck ... Herself
Bob Gadinski ... Himself
Deanna M. Helm ... Herself
Deryl Johnson ... Himself
Tom Larkin ... Himself
Ed Lawler ... Himself
George Lokitis ... Himself (Archive Footage)
Mary Ellen Lokitis ... Herself (archive footage)
Ben Marsh ... Himself
Lamar Mervine ... Himself
Fritz Michael ... Himself
John Murtha ... Himself
Tom Rathbun ... Himself
Howard Smith ... Himself
Dick Thornburgh ... Himself (Archive Footage)

Directed by
Chris Perkel (co-director)
Georgie Roland (co-director)
Produced by
Chris Perkel .... producer
Les Perkel .... executive producer
Elayne Prince .... executive producer
Melinka Thompson-Godoy .... producer
Original Music by
Paul S. Henning 
Cinematography by
Chris Perkel 
Film Editing by
Chris Perkel 
Production Management
Dylan Robertson .... post-production supervisor
Sound Department
Mike Rodriguez .... sound editor
Mike Rodriguez .... sound mixer
Georgie Roland .... sound
Camera and Electrical Department
Georgie Roland .... additional cinematographer
Editorial Department
Joel H. Hinojosa .... trailer editor
Frank Lugo .... assistant editor
Dave Pickett .... color corrector
Paul Roman .... color corrector
Music Department
Stacy Carson .... music engineer
Patricia Feliciano .... second music engineer
Paul S. Henning .... musician: piano solos
Other crew
David DeKok .... consultant
Lanie Jansheski .... caterer
Houston King .... producer's representative
Calvin Lo .... titles
Scott Troetel .... production assistant
Dennis Fisher .... special thanks
Len Modzelesky .... special thanks

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

USA:71 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.78 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Filmed entirely with a three-person crew over the course of four years.See more »


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9 out of 9 people found the following review useful.
Brief documentary regarding one of the heralded underground mine fires, 5 July 2009
Author: digital_groove from United States

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I had been anticipating the release of this film onto DVD for quite some time now. I first become privy to the film over two years ago, just missing my chance to view it in a nearby city by a few weeks. I began to wait and wait until the DVD hit stories. After an online rental, I finally got to satiate my desire.

I must say, I knew quite a bit about Centralia prior to the film. I've read Joan Quigley's "The Day The Earth Caved In", read various websites, and even visited the town of Centralia in person. I was not sure how they were going to tackle the film. From reading the history behind the town, the press for saving it, and the aftermath, they had potential to really delve into a convoluted situation with many theories of why the government failed to act quickly and the heavy disputes between those who wished to keep the press out of the town. The film mentions these things, albeit too briefly for one with limited knowledge of the story to gain a better insight into the turmoil surrounded within.

The film mainly follows one of the last current residents of the town, we get quality reminiscing of how the town was, childhood memories, the camaraderie of neighbors, and he provides a great warmth for one to imagine how a town that is doomed to be torn down once prospered. We're treated to old film of Holiday parades at the intro of the film, I personally was expecting much more of this type of medium. This was one of my biggest expectations of the film, old achieve footage of the press the fire got. From reading up on the town, they actually appeared prime time on ABC in the 80s when they were trying to garner enough support to finally put the fire out. Sadly, no news footage of the sort appears in the film. The film largely comprises of first had accounts of how the town used to be from old residents, politicians, and relatives. Between these scenes, we are treated to the hometown resident walking around town giving us a detailed tour of how the town looks now.

I guess now is also the proper time to dispel any unseemly expectations. Cenralia is not on fire above ground. You will not see this film or visit the town and see flames billowing from the grounds or trees on fire. What you will see is the old highway deteriorated and cranked, smoke rising from the ground, and lots of dead trees and vegetation letting the viewer to realize the roots were torched from beneath the surface.

Overall, the film is a good introduction for those who may have heard about the film or the legends. It's too brief in spots, but many books were written to help fill in those gaps. I do wish in included news footage from the past, a topographical map detailing a then/now perspective, and just all around a longer documentary; there's much more history to push it over the ninety minute mark.

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Will this ever get shown in the UK? Jazza78
The modern day 'Harlan County, USA'... a great film about America 8Syx
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DVD out May 19, 2009 Allfilm
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