Hundreds Pull Up Some Beach To Watch Movie

Kylie Joson

Staff Writer

OCEAN CITY – This year
marks the third year of Movies on the Beach. With the growing popularity of the
free event, two new locations were added – the Princess Royale Hotel on 91st
Street and the Carousel Resort Hotel & Condominiums on 118th Street.

The movies are still
being played at the original location at 27th street, which is
sponsored by the Commander Hotel. This family-friendly event will be offered
the rest of July and all of August.

Wednesday, July 7,
marked the first movie appearance at the Carousel. “Harry Potter and the Half
Blood Prince” was shown and hundreds of spectators grabbed a spot on the beach
to enjoy.

“We pick family oriented
movies rated PG13 or lower. Harry Potter is one of the movies that is directed
towards the older audience but most of the time the movies are animated films,”
Kate Gaddis, recreation superintendent for Ocean City, said.

Not only is this a great
activity for family and friends, the biggest perk is it’s free. Allison Plank,
a vacationer, said, “My family and I are staying here at the Carousel and this
was something different that we decided to check out. It seemed like something
the kids would enjoy and it helps that it’s free.”

Gaddis added, “This
brings business to the hotels and allows people who spend a lot of hard earned
money to come to Ocean City and have some free options. The town has been
working hard to provide free activities and pretty much every night besides
Saturday nights, there is something free you can do with your family.”

Ocean City bought all of
the equipment three years ago and it is a simple operation that takes about 15
to 20 minutes to set up, depending on the wind. The screen is similar to a
bouncy house in the fact that it is filled with air.

“The first year we did
this we had many concerns, such as alcohol problems and parents dropping their
kids off and not staying with them, this is not a babysitting program. None of
this turned out to be an issue and we have not had any serious incidents,”
Gaddis said.

There are always members
of the Ocean City Beach Patrol at the Movies on the Beach because it is indeed
on the beach and they guard the shoreline in case the tide is coming in or
there are other problems.

Gaddis exclaims that,
“People really love it. Over the years, we’ve gotten great feed back which led
us to expand.”

Just as it was getting
completely dark, Michael James, managing partner of the Carousel, welcomed the
crowd last Wednesday night before the movie played.

 “This just builds value to the stay at the
Carousel and gives us another dimension,” James said. “For our guests, this is
just another source of entertainment. Here we offer many forms of entertainment
such as the ice shows and Camp Carousel. We wanted to do the movies on the
beach and work with the city to make the people’s visit to Ocean City and the
Carousel something special.”

Every Wednesday, the
Carousel will have a family BBQ special before the movies. It will be $8.25 and
it will be offered at the oceanfront patio in the hotel.

The next movie dates and
shows are July 16: Surf’s Up, 27th Street; July 19: Shorts, 27th
Street; July 21: Monsters vs. Aliens, Carousel; and July 22: Planet 51,
Princess Royale.