Original Run Date: 8/6/2006 - Original Title: “The Pavilion is More Than a Local Star”
The camera loves The Myrtle Beach Pavilion Amusement Park.
Not just those $8 disposable ones visitors click to capture their memories. The ones from Hollywood, too.
Movies? Music videos? TV shows?
The Pavilion has been in them all.
QVC has hawked goods there. CBS weatherman Dave Price broadcast his national forecast from the amusement park.
Country singer Kenny Chesney used The Pavilion as a backdrop in his video “Anything But Mine, ‘’ in which he talks about seeing a local band at the seaside pavilion. The camera then cuts to an old Pavilion sign on the oceanfront.
The Pavilion’s final scene is this fall (2006). The longtime Myrtle Beach landmark is calling it quits after 58 years.
Shooting at The Pavilion is a frequent request of local and state film promoters. The park’s variety is a plus for those creating blockbuster images, said Jeff Monks, an S.C. Film commissioner, who works with crews scouting spots. For example, the Hurricane roller coaster can be shot one way to show the town in the background and another way to show the ocean as a backdrop.
“It’s such an icon, ‘’ Monks said. “Certainly the magic of that park is the period, its central location, not only to the beach, but to the community.’’
Ironically, the flick The Pavilion is most known for - “Shag’’ - wasn’t even shot within the park. Crews filmed it in Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach, Atlantic Beach and Georgetown during the summer of 1987, but never inside The Pavilion. The movie, starring Phoebe Cates and Bridget Fonda, put Myrtle Beach on the partying map.
Still, The Pavilion will always have “Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken, ‘’ a Disney movie that caused quite a commotion during filming in 1990.
In the movie, the amusement park plays another destination, Atlantic City, N.J., in the 1930s. The feel-good flick chronicles the life of Sonora Carver, who jumped horses off a 40-foot platform into the water at Steel Pier in Atlantic City. She was blinded during one jump, but trained to jump horses again, keeping her disability a secret. British actress Gabrielle Anwar played Carver.
During filming, real horses took 10-foot leaps to mimic Carver’s move.
If you don’t blink during the 90-minute movie, you’ll get a glimpse of Danielle Bauer of Myrtle Beach, then a curly-haired 7-year-old. She was one of about 1,500 extras who showed up daily for nearly two weeks for their shot at fame.
“Me and Mom are just walking by with this fake baby carriage, but there was no baby, ‘’ said Bauer, now 22, and an Erskine College graduate.
Being an extra wasn’t the easiest gig. Because the movie was set in the 1930s, Bauer spent two hours getting her hair and makeup done in the Attic nightclub and wore a vintage lace slip dress that was so old she was afraid to run around too much in it.
Then there was the down time. A couple of minutes in the movie took hours to shoot.
“I was missing school so it was great, ‘’ Bauer said. “I was allowed to miss school to play dress up.’’
In between takes, Bauer kept busy by playing with Barbie dolls or being mischievous. She tied her mother’s shoestrings together - aiming to trip the older Bauer when she started walking.
But mom caught on.
Both enjoyed the experience.
“That’s not something that comes along every day, ‘’ Danielle Bauer said. “Everybody was excited to be making something. It’s something they thought they’d never do again.’’
The Pavilion has an impressive acting resume for a park on the opposite coast from Hollywood, said Jim Futrell, the historian for the National Amusement Park Historical Association.
Parks in California typically are the busiest with movie cameras, he said.
“For a location like Myrtle Beach, outside of the mainstream, it is unusual, ‘’ Futrell said.