Four buildings along Loris’s Main Street are transforming into a movie filming studio with the hopes of providing more opportunities for production companies that are local and from afar.
Jerry Dalton with Dalton Pictures said construction has secretly been underway in the building for the last two years. The more than three-decade vision of Dalton’s is expected to be complete by the end of 2023, if not sooner.
“We needed a brick and mortar,” Dalton said of Horry County’s film industry. “We needed something that could bring in larger productions.”
Locally, he said the film industry is in its infancy, and he wants this location to bring in larger production companies to film in what he calls the Grand Strand’s backlot.
“The advantage isn’t for us, per se, it’s for Horry County,” he said. “We have a long-term vision…it’s about growing an industry.”
He also hopes the movie studio will bring more job opportunities.
Dalton says, “Why not?”
The four buildings along Main Street have been home to a variety of businesses through the years, including a sporting goods store, an auto store and a storage building. One of the buildings has an apartment above it.
Dalton, who has a background in commercial building as a contractor, and Heather Mayes have done a majority of the work on the 20,000-square-foot space, which is undergoing a complete demolition from floors to roofs. They’ve kept the construction a secret thanks to paper-backed windows and nondisclosure agreements, Dalton said.
The studio’s interiors will include up to nine sets that can change depending on the film.
In addition to creating jobs and a film space, Dalton also hopes to open up the world of film tourism in Horry County by offering day passes for tours of the studio where filming is happening. Plus people will have a chance to be an extra.
Dalton Pictures was founded in 2002. Its last production was “A Carolina Christmas,” which opened in theaters across the country in 2020.
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