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May 21, 2012

‘Hunger Games’: District 12 for sale

Posted in: Movies,TV

An old company store, left, at the abandoned Henry River Mill Village served as Peeta Mellark’s family bakery, right, in “The Hunger Games.” (Margo Metzger/VisitNC.com; Murray Close/Lionsgate)

The next time Katniss Everdeen, Peeta Mellark, Gale Hawthorne and Greasy Sae are seen onscreen in “The Hunger Games,” they will have a new landlord — and it could be you.

The Henry River Mill Village in Hildebran, N.C. (outside of Charlotte), which served as District 12 in the post-apocalyptic nation Panem in the big-screen adaptation of the book, is up for sale.

The 72-acre abandoned mill town, home of fictional spots like the Hob and the area known as the Seam, is valued at more than $1.2 million. It will be sold via sealed bids through the auction house Profiles in History, with a bidding deadline of July 31. The piece of “Hunger Games” history is also the subject of an upcoming episode of “Hollywood Treasure,” the SyFy series that follows Profiles in History owner Joe Maddalena as he seeks out gems in the annals of pop culture and Hollywood. The show has unearthed genre items like a full-scale model T-800 Endoskeleton from “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” (sold for $488,750) and Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber from “Star Wars” ($240,000). The episode is set to air June 5 at 10 p.m. PDT.

The abandoned Henry River Mill Village in Hildebran, N.C. For “The Hunger Games,” the house on the left was outfitted as Katniss Everdeen’s home in the Seam, part of District 12 in fictional Panem. (Margo Metzger/VisitNC.com)

“The Hunger Games,” which was filmed entirely in North Carolina, is based on Suzanne Collins’ bestselling book series about a girl who volunteers to take her sister’s place in a televised death match against other children. The film, which starred Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson, was a box-office smash, earning more than $635 million worldwide to date.

The movie also paved the way for a tourism boom in the Tar Heel State, which began offering “Hunger Games”-themed tours and promoting the hotels and restaurants where the film’s stars ate and slept. The new owner can only hope that the area is as big a draw as the New Zealand highlands or Forks, Wash. — areas made popular by the “Lord of the Rings” and “Twilight” franchises, respectively.

Katniss and Peeta (Hutcherson’s character) return to District 12 at the end of the first novel, and a chunk of the second novel “Catching Fire” is also set there. Will Lionsgate pay the new owners to use the location in the next film? Or would a new location capture the same feel? Sound off in the comments.

– Noelene Clark and Jevon Phillips

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