First Presbyterian Church reopens in Napa (copy)

Worshipers file out of the newly repaired sanctuary of First Presbyterian Church in Napa after a re-dedication service in July 2016 following the 2014 earthquake. The sanctuary was used this week to film an episode from the Netflix teen drama, "13 Reasons Why."

A film crew took over the historic sanctuary of First Presbyterian Church in Napa this week to film a funeral scene for a not-to-be-disclosed production.

Pastor David Stoker said Thursday that the sanctuary was rented by Paramount Television, but that he had signed an agreement not to give details of the filming.

The building, which dates from 1874, was picked by people who scout locations for filmed productions, Stoker said. The church had been used for this purpose previously, he said.

A local source, who declined to be named, said the funeral scene would appear in Season 4 of the Netflix teen drama, “13 Reasons Why,” whose production home is the former Mare Island Naval Shipyard in Vallejo.

Scores of Bay Area locations have been used as backdrops for the series, including many in Vallejo.

First Presbyterian was also used for a funeral scene in Season 3, the source said.

A block of Randolph Street in front of the church was closed during this week’s Napa visit. Filming ended at 9 p.m. Wednesday, after the exterior of the church was flooded with artificial light to simulate daylight pouring through the stained glass windows, Stoker said.

“13 Reasons Why,” which debuted on Netflix in March 2017, revolves around the lives of high school students, including one who took her own life after being bullied and sexually assaulted and is the focus of the first two seasons.

The fourth season now in production will reportedly conclude the series, which has received mixed reviews but has a loyal following.

With the filming over, Pastor Stoker said the sanctuary had been restored Thursday to its pre-Hollywood condition.

“The Christmas tree is back up and we’re ready for Christmas,” he said.

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You can reach City Editor Kevin Courtney at kcourtney@napanews.com or at 707-256-2217.


City Editor

Kevin has been city editor since September 2010. He joined the Register in 1973 as a reporter. He covered Napa City Hall and assorted other beats over the years. Kevin has been writing his Napa Journal column on Sundays since 1989.