Friday, August 17, 2018

Movies

In "The Wahabs of Ocracoke Island," a 1984 article by Kevin Cutler, Myra Wahab is quoted describing some of her husband's commercial ventures:

“There were two [movie theaters on Ocracoke]. In 1914 [Stanley] built a movie theater here called The Ocean Wave, and he had live personalities that appeared from time to time. That was located between where the Harborside Gift Shop and the Yaupon Tree [where Down Creek Gallery is today] are, on the paved portion. It was down on that piece of land. After that had exhausted itself, and he had built the Wahab Hotel [now Blackbeard's Lodge], he turned the [south]west wing of that into a movie theater, and that was run until 1959.”

Wahab Village Hotel












Carl Goerch, in his 1956 book Ocracoke, writes, "The moving picture theatre, which occupies the southern wing of the Wahab Village Hotel, isn't making anyone rich. Shows are run on Tuesday and Saturday nights. Admission is 40 cents for adults, 25 cents for children. Seating capacity is around 250. There's nothing fancy about interior decorations. The film costs $16.50. Then there's the cost of postage, wages for a machine operator, lights and power, etc. [C.F.] Boyette [the manager of the hotel] figures that the total cost involved in producing one show is $30."

Bobbie Rondthaler who spent summers on Ocracoke in the 1940s and 1950s remembers the movies: "[I have] great memories of going to the movies on Ocracoke on hot summer nights. The windows were open to catch any breeze that passed by, but there were no screens. This meant lots of mosquitoes. The solution to both the heat and the mosquitoes was to use one of those old-time paddle-shaped fans, cardboard on a wooden handle, advertising some funeral home on the mainland. That was nightlife on Ocracoke."

If you have ever wondered how the street you live on or vacation on got its name, or are just curious about other street names, take a look at this month's Ocracoke Newsletter. We have compiled a list of every official street in Ocracoke village, along with one or more paragraphs explaining how they came to be named. You can read the Newsletter here.  

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