VIDEO: WQED Premiers New Kennywood Documentary “That Kennywood Summer”
Legendary WQED TV Producer / Writer / Narrator, Rick Sebak, debuted his latest project earlier tonight — a new episode of his Pittsburgh documentary Nebby series, titled “That Kennywood Summer”.
The footage dates back to 1988, when WQED in Pittsburgh released a documentary called “Kennywood Memories.” The film was an instant hit and became an iconic amusement park documentary, especially among Pittsburgh locals aka “yinzers”. The film crew acquired a lot of footage in 1988 when shooting Kennywood Memories, much of which was edited out or unused due to restrictions with the length of the project for its TV time slot. Kennywood fans have been hoping for an updated version of the documentary for quit some time, but nothing ever became, until now…
Over the last few months, Sebak sifted through more than 125 twenty minute betacam tapes of the original footage from 1988 to create a brand new 28 minute program — That Kennywood Summer”. Sebak recently joined KDKA Pittsburgh Radio and also Brian Butko, a Pittsburgh historian and author of the book “Kennywood: Behind the Screams” to tell listeners how this 30-minute documentary was created:
“We were looking to see if we could do a Nebby where we didn’t have to shoot and have that expense,” Sebak said.
It’s something he always thought of doing.
Back in 1988, Sebak and his crew made 24 trips to Kennywood to shoot the original, so there was plenty of raw unseen material to use.
“The odd thing to me was, when I started to look at the tapes, is how much I don’t remember,” Sebak explained.
Butko’s two books; “Kennywood: Behind the Screams” and “Luna: Pittsburgh’s Original Lost Kennywood“, can be purchased via the Heinz History Center website as seen here. The aforementioned interview with Sebak can be watched by clicking here.
Last year, “Kennywood Memories” turned 30 years old, so Sebak thought it would be fun to celebrate the anniversary with the next installment. Not far behind is this classic 80’s commercial featuring Freddy Cannon’s Kennywood song (remixed palisades Park) — filmed around the same time frame as Kennywood Memories.
The new documentary aired earlier tonight at 8 p.m. in the Pittsburgh market on WQED. (January 24th, 2019). For those who live outside the viewing area, or those who simply missed the documentary, can watch it below in its entirety! ENJOY!
The new film dropped at the perfect time as the Kennywood prepares to debut a new area in the park, along with “Steel Curtain”, an all new Steelers themed roller coaster for 2019.
While Kennywood may be closed during the Winter months, it makes for the perfect time to visit Kennywood’s past. Fans can stop by the Heinz History Center where many of Kennywood’s past still lives on. We recently made a visit to the museum, and it’s definitely worth checking out! You can get a sneak peek inside the museum here.
Kennywood is set to open for the 2019 season with passholder events on Saturday April 27th and Sunday 28th, followed by the official opening day on Saturday May, 4th, 2019. For tickets to the park and more information, visit the official Kennywood website by clicking here.
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