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Will Gazebo Land on Cutting-room Floor?

October 3, 2018

The gazebo built by a Netflix production company, in the background at left, has become a point of contention between Lancaster residents. This photograph was taken during the filming of the television series, which has been described as "'Lord of the Flies' meets ÔLost,'" according to the Hollywood Reporter. PHOTO COURTESY OF LANCASTER COMMUNITY CENTER Sentinel and Enterprise staff photos can be ordered by visiting our SmugMug site.

LANCASTER -- The currently untitled Netflix series that has been filming in and around Lancaster in recent weeks may prove to be a thriller, but it looks like the biggest cliffhanger will be the fate of a gazebo built for the production on the town green.

The gazebo, which served as a prop when scenes were shot on the town green last month and has since been gifted to the town by Netflix, came up during Monday’s Board of Selectmen meeting. All three selectmen said the majority of residents they have spoken to said they wanted to keep the gazebo on the town green, and a motion was even made by Selectman Walter Sendrowski to move the structure just a few yards away so it wasn’t in the middle of the space.

“About 80 percent of people are telling me to leave it on the green,” said Selectman Stan Starr. “People would like to have that as a site for concerts and gatherings for town purposes.”

However, Starr ultimately motioned for the board to hold off on making a decision until more public input could be gathered, following opposition from several of Monday night’s audience members.

“It’s only a temporary prop for a movie right now,” said resident Joan Richards. “Are we going to be a town remembered for a horror movie gazebo or the beautiful green we’ve always had?”

Several of Monday’s audience members voiced their skepticism regarding the gazebo, asking who would maintain it, pointing out that it blocks views of nearby historic buildings, and is not appropriate in its current location.

Historical Commission Chairwoman Heather Lennon said her commission was in favor of keeping the structure, but shared concerns about it staying in its current location.

“Once you put the gazebo up and you start having functions people are going to want to have benches. What kind of benches? How many? Where will they placed?” she said. “And then why not have a few statues? Or a fountain? Or an ATM machine? Where does it stop?”

Resident Linnea Lakin-Cervey also questioned the capacity of the town green and the town’s willingness to accept gifts from Netflix.

“If Netflix decides to put a roller coaster there, are we going to keep that, too?” she asked, instead suggesting that the gazebo be moved to the nearby Thayer Field, where a playground is currently under construction.

Town Administrator Orlando Pacheco advised against this, as that project is still being developed.

“I just don’t think it would be ready to be just dropped in by December,” he said.

December is the date by which Netflix expects to have completed production.

Pacheco said filming is scheduled to resume in Lancaster today and likely to continue until Oct. 15. He said the production would be paying the town $15,000 for the use of filming locations, though he estimated this payment could possibly be as much as $20,000.

Follow Peter Jasinski on Twitter @PeterJasinski53

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