Netflix's 'Mindhunter' comes to the Alle-Kiski Valley
Becky Coy's Tarentum eatery, Hometown Restaurant, got a bigger lunch rush than normal on Thursday.
Coy's restaurant was a central location in the filming of the upcoming Netflix crime drama series “Mindhunter.”
“I think it's great,” said Coy as she stood in the middle of Fourth Avenue, which was closed to normal traffic but still lined with parked cars — conspicuously from the 1970s — as she watched crews film a scene.
“Plus, it's a day off.”
The inside of Hometown Restaurant has been redone to reflect the ‘70s time period in which the show takes place.
That means an old jukebox, retro silverware and decor that was common in the Disco Era.
“I made the food for the scene,” Coy said. “Everyone on the crew has been so nice, and the atmosphere has been great.”
The show set up filming locations Thursday in Tarentum and Vandergrift.
In Tarentum, there were film crews at Massart's restaurant on E. Sixth Avenue, First United Presbyterian Church at Lock Street and E. 10th Avenue and the Mason's Hall at Fourth and Lock. Production trucks took over part of the Valley News Dispatch parking lot next door.
There was a film crew at Sprankle's Market on Franklin Avenue in Vandergrift, too.
Vandergrift also was the filming headquarters last summer for Cinemax's “Banshee” series.
The basis for the TV series is the 1996 book, “Mind Hunter: Inside the FBI's Elite Serial Crime Unit,” by former FBI Special Agent John Douglas and Mark Olshaker.
The book chronicles Douglas' 25-year career as part of a team using criminal-profiling to track serial killers. Some cases he worked on included prostitutes hunted for sport in Alaska, the Atlanta child murderer and Seattle's Green River killer.
The series stars Jonathan Groff, Anna Torv, Cotter Smith and Holt McCallany.
The show, which is being produced by actress Charlize Theron, actor Kevin Spacey and Jennifer Orme Erwin, has filmed in recent months in numerous locations in Southwestern Pennsylvania, including McKeesport and Canonsburg.
Producing and directing will be David Fincher, who directed such films as “Fight Club,” “The Social Network” and “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.” The last two earned him Academy Award nominations for directing.
Fincher also directs and produces the award-winning series “House of Cards,” which stars Spacey. Spacey is a producer through his Trigger Street Productions.
The series is expected to debut on Netflix next year.
Requests for comment from multiple parties involved in the shooting were either denied, not returned, or directed elsewhere.
Kevin Bertocki, who owns the building that houses Hometown Restaurant, said the show contacted him about a month ago.
“Hollywood comes to Tarentum,” Bertocki said with a smile as a mint condition, 1950s-era tractor rode by. “It's just really neat to see all of this stuff from the 1960s and ‘70s.”
Ashley Parise, who works a few blocks from the filming at Blackburn's Pharmacy, said having the show in town has been exciting.
“It's been a little tough to park, but it's worth it,” she said. “It's cool to see this in Tarentum.
“I'm glad they're here.”
R.A. Monti is a freelance writer.