The town of Wilmington is well-known for its Hollywood connection, and has set the stage for hundreds if not thousands of movies and television shows over the past few decades. The pinnacle of this cinematic activity can be found at the local EUE Screen Gems Studios, which features elaborate studios along the eastern seaboard in New York City, Atlanta, Georgia, and North Carolina's own mini-Hollywood, Wilmington.

EUE Screen Gem Studios in Wilmington, NC

Built in 1985, the full-service studio features 10 stages and 150,000 sq. ft. of column-free shooting space, located just north of Wilmington's bustling downtown. In fact, the complex is currently the largest filming facility in the United States outside of California, and hosts dozens of regular television series and movie sets year after year. An estimated 350 film, television and commercial projects have been shot at the 50 acre site since it was created, including both blockbuster and academy award nominated films, such as "Iron Man 3," "Blue Velvet, "Nights in Rodanthe," "Firestarter," and a number of television series including "Dawson's Creek" and the popular HBO series "Eastbound and Down."

EUE Screen Gem Studios in Wilmington, NC

The studio feature seasonal tours, generally on the weekends from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. to visitors who want to explore the incredible facilities, which include sound stages and an impressive "water tank" stage that takes up a massive arena with an all-encompassing indoor pool where underwater scenes are filmed. The tour can also feature a special visit to any sets of television series that are currently filming.

While the movie studio is for the most part closed off to the public, in addition to the tours available, Screen Gems Studios also features some incredible opportunities for bargain hunters as well. When a movie or a television series shuts down, savvy shoppers can find incredible deals on everything that was involved with the filming, from the set decor to the actors' wardrobe. For example after the local favorite television series "One Tree Hill" wrapped up its final season, shoppers in the know were able to score all sorts of goodies from the set, from the clothes used in wardrobe, to the silverware and place settings that were utilized in all of the series' dining scenes. These massive "sales" are usually announced a month or two in advance in community papers, or on the local Screen Gem Studio's website, http://studios.euescreengems.com/nc/.

The tours available at Screen Gems Studios can be somewhat unpredictable, and are generally available when a current television show or movie is being produced, and the facility is effectually wide open. Visitors are advised to call in advance to find out when tours are occurring and to reserve their spot, and as a result, they can view first-hand the hard work that goes into the Wilmington film scene. Tours can be reserved by calling 910-343-3500, and are typically available Saturdays and Sundays.

Movie buffs of all ages will adore a tour through the famed Screen Gems Studios, a highlight of Wilmington's incredible theater and arts scene. As the heart of a large number of summer blockbusters and cult classics, a trip to the Screen Gems Studios is veritably a trip to Hollywood, but with a stunning, coastal Carolina backdrop location. Plan a trip to this southern coastal Mecca for the Hollywood set, and see why Wilmington is quickly building a reputation as one of the best movie and TV locations on the East Coast.

 


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*Off-season hours may vary*
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Victory Beach Vacations

Victory Beach Vacations

Visitors who are on the hunt for the postcard-perfect vacation rental in the heart of the Carolina Beach or Kure Beach area will find an enticing selection and plenty of friendly customer service when they rent through Victory Beach Vacations. Based in Carolina Beach in the coastal Cape Fear region, Victory Beach Vacations has more than 100 vacation rentals in all shapes and sizes to ensure that every vacationing family can find their dream home away from home on the beach.   When you book your Cape Fear getaway with Victory Beach Vacations, the fun doesn’t end when you leave the beach, it continues with an array of privately-owned properties outfitted with all of the amenities needed for a fabulous beach vacation.   Jenna Lanier, General Manager, explains that her family first opened the rental and property management business in 2002. At the forefront of Victory Beach operations is Lanier’s mother, Caroline Meeks. Meeks is both the Broker in Charge and co-owner with husband, Buck Meeks, who manages the Field Services team with Lanier’s husband, Scott.   For nearly 20 years, the Victory Beach team has worked tirelessly to establish a network of top-of-the-line rental properties for Cape Fear visitors to enjoy. “As far as our properties go,” explains Lanier, “they are all updated, well-furnished and appointed. “We have always performed post-cleaning inspections and since the pandemic, have put freshly laundered duvets over all of the comforters between rentals.”   Lanier emphasizes how important the guests experience is “we strive to give our guests a relaxing, stress free, memorable vacation.” This emphasis on customer service has led to Victory Beach Vacations having a 4.8 Google rating with over 300 reviews by happy owners and guests.In addition to Victory Beach’s superior sanitation practices, the company offers properties for every type of visitor. Choose from luxury oceanfront houses and condos to more reasonbly priced 2nd row properties with oceanviews. Many properties include pools and hot tubs as well, perfect for outdoor entertaining, and many are dog friendly.   Lanier also notes that all properties are within walking or driving distance to Pleasure Island’s main attractions – Carolina Beach and Kure Beach. The former, as described by Lanier, is the more commercialized of the two destinations and features a boardwalk, outdoor dining options and a plethora of weekly activities including fireworks, live music, amusement park pop-ups, and movies under the stars. Kure Beach offers a more residential feel with its fishing pier, intimate restaurants and family favorite, North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher.More water fun awaits, too. “There is a harbor and a canal that feed into the intercoastal. We have several properties on the harbor so guests can bring their boat, kayak, [or jet ski] and travel between islands,” says Lanier.   A stay with Victory Beach Vacations is an annual pilgrimage for most. “A large percentage of guests are previous guests. Some even reserve the same property for the next year as they’re checking out,” Lanier says. “It’s almost like it’s their personal vacation home.”   Even before guests arrive at their vacation destination, the Victory Beach Vacations’ website greets them with a live beach cam and exquisite aerial footage of both Carolina and Kure Beaches. See for yourself by scanning the QR code and call Victory Beach Vacations at 910.458.0868 to book your Cape Fear getaway. Start making your memories today! —Grace Silipigni