Thursday, January 26, 2012
"The Town that Was" Centralia, Pennsylvania
"The Town that Was" is an intriguing and thought provoking documentary on the small mining community of Centralia, Pennsylvania. A town that has lived and died with the coal industry. Centralia was once a bustling borough that thrived on the anthracite coal buried deep beneath the surface, but on the surface was a town of dedicated, hard working individuals. This film mainly pays it focus on them, instead of the fire that burns deep beneath the surface of this near ghost town.
Centralia was once a standard mining community. Row homes with well manicured lawns dotted the streets, while local churches and taverns served as meeting places, and homes away from home. But since a warm Summer day in 1962 the times have been a changing. A controlled trash burn on Labor Day weekend, escaped into an underground mine and ignited the slow burning coal. Since then the fires been spreading and the residents have been fleeing, but not all.
The documentary shares stories of past and present, from current and former residents. As well as their concerns and grievances about the town and the controversy that surrounds it. The picture mainly pays attention to Centralia's youngest resident, John Lokitis. The film follows him through his daily routines of helping to maintain the small town charm that still remains there. The passion he shows for his hometown shines through immensely. Being one of less than a dozen remaining citizens, John thrives to keep the "Town that Was", a town that's never forgotten.
Watch "The Town that Was" free on Hulu