Cedartown is on HBO - May 30, 2018

Antique cars fully restored and in many cases running were brought in to add to the effect of 1921 Tulsa, Oklahoma as Cedartown was transformed for filming during a two-day shoot for an HBO pilot on Main Street. / Kevin Myrick

  • Main Street plays part in HBO pilot

It looked like a real riot was going on in downtown Cedartown, but it was all just for show.

Main Street was shut down for a two-day shoot for what will hopefully become a full-fledged HBO series following the Memorial Day holiday, and if the show is picked up for a season the filmmakers will likely be back for more.

A block in downtown Cedartown was transported back in time ahead of the road closure, and all day Wednesday and Thursday the crews brought in extras, props, animals and even pyrotechnics to recreate the 1921 Tulsa Race Riot as part of a pilot for a new series.

More details are available – mostly based on online reporting from fan websites – that this past week’s visit is part of a planned series based on the 1986 graphic novel “The Watchmen.”

Variety.com reports that veteran show runner Damon Lindelof from “Lost” will be heading up the series, and this first episode is being directed by Nicole Kassell, who has worked on several HBO shows in the past.

Those unfamiliar with “Watchmen” can refer to the 2009 movie made by Zack Snyder, or can pick up the graphic novel written by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. The brief synopsis of the DC Comics property is that in an alternate history, the United States has won the Vietnam War and a plot is underway to push the world toward World War III. In this world, superheroes exist and have played a part in changing the course of the world’s events.

The pilot was ordered in September 2017, and shooting began this month around the state of Georgia, including Macon. Cedartown took part in the shoot as part of the recreation of the 1921 Tulsa race riot, which took place 97 years ago almost to the day that the production wrapped up locally.

Cedartown was chosen due to the architecture of one of the buildings downtown which closely matched a theater in Tulsa destroyed during the riot.

More than 300 extras were brought downtown for filming, and streets were shuttered from midnight of May 30 through midnight of June 1. Most businesses also remained closed for the two-day shoot.

If the pilot gets picked up by HBO for a full season, production officials said that Cedartown might get more screen time as part of a full run.