'It will be a great lift for downtown’: Broadway Theater restoration project enters next phase

Updated: Oct. 13, 2020 at 9:52 PM EDT
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - Progress is being made on the Broadway Theater renovations, and some hope it will bring new life to downtown Myrtle Beach.

The Myrtle Beach City Council heard a presentation on the new theater at a meeting Tuesday morning.

Just about anywhere you look in the Arts and Innovation District, you’ll see construction.

The next wave could be on the old Broadway Theater, which is just fine for one Main Street business owner.

“I think if they can get this done, this project, it will be a great lift for downtown," said Surfside Shop owner Michael Carroll.

When Carroll bought his furniture store on Main Street in Myrtle Beach, most of the buildings around him were empty.

But, he’s seen some more businesses open up, and he’s hoping the city of Myrtle Beach’s next project, restoring the Broadway Theater, will continue to add to that development.

The city has already approached Carroll about remodeling the back of his store because of the new theater, and he’s more than happy with the plan to install double doors.

“If they put double doors in there, well you saw, we were unloading mattresses, and it’d be a lot easier to get them through a double door," said Carroll.

While Carroll will see a little impact from the development, most of it will be on the theater itself, the old J&J Drug Store and Helen Mates Department Store.

“We’re building a 300 plus, minus seat theater, that’s going to be multi-functional," said Downtown Development Director Lauren Clever. "Any kind of performance, whether it’s musical, drama, could be rock concert, movies, could be really anything.”

Downtown Development presented the design for the new theater to the city council. Now, it will move into considering prices and how to pull off the design. A design that takes into account the old theater’s history.

“We’re going to restore them back to their original characteristics," said Clever. "They’ll look like they did back in the day when they were functioning and vibrant. The internals will be merged together in a way that will maintain some of those key characteristics that made those buildings special.”

Clever said, in a perfect world, construction could be complete by 2022 or 2023.

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