Myrtle Beach Pavilion

Click on any image to see the full-size version.
Most were taken on July 29, August 19, and September 16, 2006 except as noted.

812 N. Ocean Blvd
Myrtle Beach, SC 29577

The Pavilion closed at the "Last Ride" event on Sept. 30, 2006; the arcade closed the previous week and was not open for this last-day event. There was also a private final farewell " Save the Last Dance" party on October 7, 2006, with a party in The Attic, free tokens in the arcade, and rides in the amusement park.

Its hard to believe that the venerable Pavilion and amusement park is closed after all these years. It really was an institution, and has been the anchor of the whole downtown district for nearly 60 years. It was open regular hours during this last season until Labor Day, then weekends on September, then one last night on Sept. 30, 2006, when it was closed forever. Some of the rides, like the Carousel and the organ, will be relocated to Broadway at the Beach, others like the Hurricane and the Haunted Hotel, were torn down. Its hard to imagine that "downtown" beach area without them.

What will happen to the Pavilion and the amusement park area? Rumors abound, with no definite plans announced by Burroughs & Chapin. Some people say that the park will be turned into a mixed-use residential and shopping area. There are also rumors that the Pavilion itself will be replaced by a mile-long boardwalk with attractions all the way down to 2nd Avenue N. Some people think that the Pavilion area will be built into more condos like the lines of huge towers being built along the shore.

Historical/Classic pictures

First week of August, 1964, from Melvin Brafford.
For a large-size scan of this, great for a computer desktop picture, click here.
Taken the same day in August 1964, looking toward the south. Note the old-fashioned public telephone sign on the corner of the building. A sign inside offers fish sandwiches for 30 cents, with one of the famous curved funhouse mirrors below it.
For a large-size scan of this, great for a computer desktop picture, click here.

Pavilion in 1980, donated picture. The banner advertises two new rides in the amusement park for 1980- the "Mind Scrambler" (actually, their old Scrambler ride in a new building, with lights and music), and the Enterprise.

This pavilion was the third such structure- the first was a one-story building attached to the Seaside Inn, the first hotel on the beach. This building burned in 1920, and was replaced by a larger, 2-story wooden Pavilion in 1925. This bigger pavilion covered part of a long wooden boardwalk that stretched north to the 14th Avenue Pier, and it was located on the southern end of the beach at the 8th Avenue North intersection - the opposite end of the lot from the 3rd building. During the demolition in 2006, the original foundations of this building were uncovered, but were quickly demolished along with the rest of the structures. This second Pavilion featured a bowling alley, a .22 caliber shooting gallery, dining, and dancing. In 1944, this second Pavilion also burned to the ground.

A busy day at the (2nd) Pavilion in the 1930s

The third and last Pavilion was built in 1948, using walls of reinforced concrete, which withstood many severe storms which destroyed many other buildings in the area.

The Last Season

2006 Pictures of the Pavilion, built in 1948:

Memorial plaque for Ed Husted, who managed the amusement park for nearly 40 years.
Last season events, including the "Last Ride" on Sept. 30th

The "Attic" teenage nightclub, formerly known as the "Magic Attic". This has also been in operation almost since the beginning. Long ago, the Magic Attic had windows along the front of the Pavilion, facing Ocean Blvd.

Inside the ground-floor arcade in the Pavilion. This was always the largest arcade in the area, and they've always had a great selection of games. Back in the late 60s, they had some machines with live animals that would perform tricks; a rabbit would climb and kiss a figure's face, a duck would play a small piano. An entire animated band of monkeys, the "Bimbo Box", would perform to music.

They also had a large selection of games- electromechanical shooting games, bowling and pinballs during the 60s and 70s. During the 80s, the arcade had an excellent selection of the latest video games. In the years leading up to their last season, the arcade had become like all the others- mostly prize redemption, with relatively few regular games. Thanks to Melvin Brafford for this pic of the prize counter in 2001.

During the last season and possibly earlier, the arcade was closed until 10am; it was open 24 hours/day the entire time I lived at the beach. On August 19, 2006, a teenaged employee said that the arcade games would be auctioned off. As of November 1st, many of the games were still in the closed arcade and turned on. Many of the redemption games were moved to other B&C attractions, and the remainder were sold at a large "flea market" held in the Pavilion parking deck.

The Pavilion always had a number of interesting antique arcade machines similar to this Mutoscope.
Fortune Teller machine, October 2006. You will get a card that tells you (allegedly) your fortune! Click here for the full-size picture. Thanks to Melvin Brafford for this picture.

Pavilion arcade pictures from Melvin Brafford:

Pavilion snack bars also had very good pizza, which was a quick, cheap lunch. Their milkshakes, in the stand beside the Atlantic Speedway, were very good.

Lunch break at the Pavilion, August 2001, looking out into the alley beside the Pavilion. For many years, this corner had tables and chairs for their food concessions. In later years, this was enclosed for the '4D Moving Theatre'. Thanks to Melvin Brafford for this picture.

Years earlier, the Atlantic Speedway race track at the southern end of the beachfront, was Jungle Breeze miniature golf, and Neptune Sea Golf before that.

   Mickey Spillane's star on the "Walk of Fame"

A nice day at the beach in front of the Pavilion. All of these sea-oats are new to me; its probably a tremendous help to stop beach erosion.

The Last Ride

The Pavilion Park held its "Last Ride" event on Sept. 30, 2006. The Pavilion itself, had closed for the last time a week earlier. These pictures were taken on 9/29 and 9/30/2006:

Demolition: December 2006 - early January 2007

On November 1st, work crews were busy sinking posts into the concrete, and putting up chain-link fence and thick black netting, probably as much to hide the demolition work from view as to block debris. The Pavilion was intact at that time.

Demolition of the historic Pavilion building began shortly before Christmas 2006; these pictures were taken on December 23, 2006. Most of the building is completely destroyed, with only a small segment of the 2nd floor, and a broad section of the front facade, still standing. Everything south of the main building has been stripped clean.

For a short time after the demolition, B&C was selling collector bags of crushed concrete from the Magic Attic floor, and the Walk of Fame on the Pavilion store website (www.bandcstorecom).

Myrtle Beach without the Pavilion

The famous, historic Pavilion is now completely gone, and this section of the beach- where Myrtle Beach itself began, is now empty and unused for the first time in living memory. Pictures taken on April 1, 2007.

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