FOR THE LOVE OF Curtain Rising Again?
WBM august 2019
ILMINGTON is a city many
view as one on the move. It’s
impossible not to see the rapid
growth of greater Wilmington
in the plethora of new shopping
centers, apartment complexes and new housing develop-ments.
A local news outlet reported earlier this year that
only 10 percent of land in New Hanover County (about
3,000 acres) remains available for development.
There are a variety of reasons cited why people continue
to call Wilmington home each year. The draws abound —
a historic and vibrant downtown, universities and colleges,
a positive entrepreneurial climate and, of course, beauti-ful
beaches and waterways. And a diverse group — from
college students to retirees are new residents to the area.
People here express a “love of where they live.”
Others who have been around a while, however, can
view the Port City through a slightly different lens. They
cite a beloved missing element — a loss the city has
struggled to rebound from over the past decade. Ten years
ago, Wilmington saw the departure of a key part of its
identity when many studios, actors and production crews
left town. It began when North Carolina’s governor at the
time signed a bill that reduced tax incentives for films and
television series filmed in the state.
The story here is not about the population of film tal-ent
that left, but about the people who decided to stay
and those relocating to Wilmington.
Top: A scene for a short film about director Frank Capra, Two Hours in the Dark, is shot at Wrightsville’s south end in 2008. Above, left to
right: Filming for the television series, One Tree Hill, took place in Wrightsville Beach and Wilmington for nine seasons.
WBM FILE PHOTOS