'The Originals' comes to Central State Hospital

Milledgeville might seem like an unlikely place to find a little piece of Hollywood.

But crews for the TV series, 'The Originals,' thought it was the perfect place to film some episodes.

That's a popular spin-off of 'The Vampire Diaries' that airs on The CW Network.

Just last week, the cast and crew filmed new episodes at Central State Hospital.

"Because of the uniqueness of the buildings and everything out here, it really sparked the interest within the film community," Jane Sowell, executive director of Milledgeville-Baldwin County Convention & Visitors Bureau, said.

At its peak in the 1960s, Central State Hospital was the state's biggest mental-health facility treating around 12,000 patients.

But the hospital closed in 2010, leaving the Central State Hospital Redevelopment Authority pushing for change.

"We talked to the associate director of The Originals last week and one of the things he mentioned was that 'We've filmed in Atlanta and Savannah a lot. We're looking for other sites.' So we think we have a lot of resources here to bring that type of industry into the State Hospital," Mike Couch, executive director of the Authority said.

Sowell says 'The Originals' filming here might be the catalyst they need to bring more crews to the hospital.

Though she can't reveal which ones yet, she did say the Convention and Visitors Bureau is in talks with two other big productions.

More people means more activity and more business for Baldwin County.

The Brick eatery owner Frank Pendergast says the cast and crew must have heard about his restaurant by word-of-mouth.

"They had a rather big takeout order. 15 pizzas, 200 wings, and lots of pasta," Pendergast said.

"As far as the economic impact in our community, it's been huge," Sowell said. "They spent over $30,000 on hotels and a considerable amount cleaning up the buildings. It's a win-win for everybody."

Central State could be the key in bringing a little piece of Hollywood to central Georgia.

Follow 13WMAZ's Anita Oh on Twitter @anita_oh and on Facebook at Anita Oh WMAZ.


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