HICKORY, NC — A show on the SyFy Channel failed to garner a buyer for the Henry River Mill Village, a filming site for the popular “Hunger Games” movie.
The SyFy Channel’s show “Hollywood Treasure” and its host Joe Maddalena, who owns Los Angeles-based business Profiles in History, were taking bids on the property and expected to open those bids last week. Minda Gowen, a publicist for Maddalena and his business Profiles in History, said “The Hunger Games” property did not find a buyer during the 90-day period that Maddalena had the option to sell it.
“Joe is no longer putting it up for auction but he hopes the owner will find the right buyer eventually,” Gowen said.
Henry River Mill Village owner Wade Shepherd allowed the SyFy show to film on the property and allowed the property to be put up for silent auction. The “Hunger Games”-related episode filmed a segment at the river and had Ed Phillips in the segment acting as Shepherd’s business representative.
In reality, not Hollywood “reality,” Shepherd had laryngitis the day the show filmed at Henry River and he couldn’t speak, Phillips said.
Phillips, who is actually the executive director of Burke Travel and Tourism, agreed to “act” as Shepherd’s representative.
“All of those reality shows are not reality,” Phillips said.
The mill village was valued for the show at more than $1.2 million.
Shepherd said the 72-acre village is still up for sale and he’s still asking $1.4 million for it.
Shepherd said he called someone connected with the show and was told Maddalena and his business didn’t get one bid for the mill village.
“So, we’re back to square one so we’ll look for somebody else,” Shepherd said.
Shepherd said, with some mischievousness in his voice, “I want you to put it in the paper that I want someone with a briefcase full of money to come and visit me and get a deed.”
While no one with a briefcase full of money has shown up, plenty of “Hunger Games” fans have. The village was the location for a reunion on Saturday of those who worked at the mill or grew up in the village. And Shepherd said cars from across the country are still flocking to the site to see the place that became the home district of the movie’s heroine Katniss Everdeen.
Whether any part of the second movie, “Catching Fire,” will be filmed at the village is still unknown. Filming is expected to start in early September but Shepherd said he hasn’t heard from anyone about shooting any scenes at the village. Phillips also hasn’t heard anything about filming.
“But Lionsgate is very tight with their information,” Phillips said.
Internet Movie Database lists Atlanta as the location for the movie, although the Hollywood Reporter’s website lists North Carolina as the filming location.
However, Actor Woody Harrelson, who is in “The Hunger Games,” said recently in an interview on a late night talk show that shooting for the follow-up will take place in Atlanta and Hawaii.