News Column

Local hopes to put Lumina Pavilion story on film

October 28, 2013

YellowBrix

Oct. 28--The famed Lumina Pavilion, which celebrated its heyday in the 1920s and '30s in Wrightsville Beach, may get the big-screen treatment if one local screenwriter and producer has anything to do with it.

Wilmington resident Pilar Walsh, an actress and former professional dancer, is at work locating money and potential producers for a movie she wrote called "Lumina Love," a romantic drama set in 1928 at the now-demolished seasonal resort.

The fictional story will follow real-life figure Mary Nicholson, the first North Carolina woman to receive her pilot's license, as she finds love with a young Ukrainian worker when the two cross paths in the Lumina's ballroom.

"It is a wonderful family film that will educate viewers about the Lumina Ballroom and how it played an important part in the history of Wrightsville Beach and Wilmington," said Walsh, who added that the film would shoot exclusively in Wilmington. "It is a fun journey with lots of dancing, lots of conflict and lots of drama."

Coinciding with the introduction of the "Shag" dance at the Lumina Ballroom, the film's story will focus heavily on dance. In order to create choreography accurate to the time period, Walsh works with John Bennett, an allied health and social dance professor at University of North Carolina Wilmington.

"Being a dance teacher, when I watch dance films, there are times when the movements are not accurate," Bennett said. "So when Pilar asked me to consult on this film's dance authenticity, I was excited to come on board."

In search of money, Walsh launched an Indiegogo profile, where those interested can pledge money to the film's production. The page indicates that Walsh hopes to make $100,000.

Even though the project is in the development stage, Walsh said, from the beginning, this has been a passion project for her. "The film and the story conjure up a time and place that did exist and is unlike anything we know today," she said.

The "Lumina Love" Indiegogo donation page can be found at www.indiegogo.com/projects/lumina-love--2.

Hunter Ingram: 343-2327

On Twitter: @WilmonFilm

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(c)2013 the Star-News (Wilmington, N.C.)

Visit the Star-News (Wilmington, N.C.) at www.starnewsonline.com

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