Myrtle Beach leaders discuss downtown’s future, preserving history

MBDRC talks Myrtle Beach's future

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Changes are coming to the downtown Myrtle Beach area while many are working to preserve its history.

The Myrtle Beach Downtown Redevelopment Corporation met Wednesday to discuss what should happen to a historic theater that was purchased in December with hopes of bringing it back to life.

“We’ve got an area in Myrtle Beach that just has continued to be challenged it has potential and that’s what we’re looking at,” Lauren Clover, the executive director of MBDRC said.

The Encore Video Production building was built more than 50 years ago and will now be known as the Broadway Theater.

“You know it was a movie theater that was in the original downtown so there’s a definite historical significance of people that grew up definitely went to numerous movies in that theater,” Clover said.

While it is getting a fresh start, serving as a new performing arts center for Coastal Carolina University, the city wants to make sure its deep roots in the community live on.

At Wednesday’s meeting, Clever proposed the idea of getting a National Historical Designation for the building.

But a major concern is the building has to appear as it originally did when it was first built in order to be classified as a historical building. At this time, it does not due to a façade that was added.

“I don’t know anything about what takes to remove that. We need to look into that, understand what that means, and we can’t damage it. That’s part of the process of getting approved for us to know what is underneath it,” Clever said.

The Committee must remove part or all of the façade to meet requirements and this is an expenditure they aren’t sure they are ready to pay at this time.

They have decided to table the discussion on this until the March meeting, hoping that they will have a better idea of what this will mean financially.

“You know it really could be something really special and begin to enhance our community. We have a great community as it is, but this can only go on to improve what Myrtle Beach is and can be,” Clever said.

Also discussed was the upcoming food truck festival being held in April. The event has 59 approved food trucks attending and five bands have been booked at this time. More food trucks are expected to be added to the lineup.

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