Seaside Heights

Boardwalk Empire In Search of a Boardwalk: Enter Seaside Heights

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Late spring crowds strolled along the boardwalk near Midway Steaks at Webster Avenue here in May 2012. Erik Weber / (c) Ocean Signal Media Group


by Phil Stilton

SEASIDE HEIGHTS–This week the Asbury Park Sun reported that the HBO original series “Boardwalk Empire” was considering Asbury Park as a future filming location. Today officials here reported that they, too, were trying to urge producers from the popular cable series to consider their boardwalk exclusively or possibly in conjunction with that Monmouth County shore city.

Through three seasons of the show, which depicts Roaring Twenties-era Atlantic City during Prohibition, Leverage, its production company, relied on special effects and several locations in New York City to recreate the essence of those times, including a 300-foot, $5 million replica boardwalk built in Steiner Studios at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

Now, according the the Sun, the show is in talks with the City of Asbury Park to film the fourth season there. While Asbury Park may be a fitting choice with several buildings of the style and period, including the Convention Center, which opened in 1930, Seaside Heights officials today told the Ocean Signal that they are now lobbying HBO and the show’s producers to consider their boardwalk also.

Seaside Heights Community Improvement Director Michael Grachien asked, ‘Why not Seaside Heights?’

He credited the borough’s 100 filming permits in 2012 alone to the town’s film friendly policies and nominal filming permit fee of just $25.

“We understand the publicity and promotion filming in our town brings, so we’re very supportive of these kinds of things – in some other towns, the filming permit is astronomical,” the community improvement director said. “We understand what we get out of it here and the permit and fee is there just so we can know who’s filming, when and how many people they’ll be bringing.”

The town most notably and recently was home to MTV”s controversial hit series “Jersey Shore” and past seasons of “MTV’s Spring Break.”

“We read some articles saying Boardwalk Empire is coming, so we contacted the producers of the show through our contacts at HBO so we can pitch Seaside Heights,” he continued. “If nothing else, we’d like to even partner up with Asbury Park and make it something that can benefit both towns.”

Seaside Heights is currently engaged in an approximately $6 million boardwalk rebuilding project following severe damage as a result of Hurricane Sandy on October 29th. Borough officials anticipate a Memorial Day reopening.

“Most of the major networks have filmed here over the years and they appreciate what’s here and what we do” Mr. Grachien added. “And we appreciate them.”

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