Republic Steel's Thomas Works was a filming location for the local independent film Interplanetary which premiered at the 2009 Sidewalk Film Festival. Learning about the plant after this film is what enabled later exploration with Naaman of What's Left of Birmingham. Later it also was a filming location for Beyond Black Mesa, another indie short film which was featured at the 2011 Sidewalk Film Festival. Other films most likely have been shot there that have not become widely known.
The Thomas site has been a unique enclave for artists since 1993.1 Many of the ancient industrial buildings around the brownfield site are now employed as artist studios. The Thomas Project is a home to a diverse assortment of artists, many of whom make use of particular properties of the site for art such as glassblowing and metal sculptures. Robin Wade, the owner of the property and quarry operation still excavating nearby, should be recognized for his creative reuse and respect for the historic coke works. Such revitalization and reuse of buildings which are built to endure is rare anywhere, especially in the South.
- Spencer T. In an Industrial Boneyard, Artists Use Steel and Ore to Produce, Well, Art. New York Times. April 19, 2000.