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Where is the movie studio around here, and can I visit it?

Amy Hotz

EUE/Screen Gems, 1223 N. 23rd St., Wilmington [Map this], is the largest film studio facility outside of California. Although its corporate headquarters is based in New York, the Wilmington campus boasts the third largest movie sound stage in the United States (nicknamed “Dream Stage 10″) and houses one of the largest special effects water tanks in North America. The sound stage is 37,500 square foot and the water tank is 60-by-60 feet with a depth of 10.5 feet.

Many well-known feature films and television shows have been filmed here including “Nights in Rodanthe,” “The Secret Life of Bees,” “Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood,” “Matlock,” “Dawson’s Creek,” and, currently, “One Tree Hill.”

Of course, with so many stars walking around the lot, the public isn’t invited in just any old time. But, thank goodness, you don’t need to know a Hollywood producer to get in.

EUE/Screen Gems offers one-hour public walking tours at noon and 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays from Memorial Day to Labor Day. From May to September, public tours are offered at noon and 2 p.m. only on Saturdays.

Prices are $12 for adults, $10 for students and military personnel with valid ID, $8 for seniors, $5 for children ages 5 to 12, and free for children 4 and younger when accompanied by an adult.

For more information, call 343-3433 or visit http://www.screengemsstudios.com/nc/documents/tours.html.

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