ATLANTIC BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — A documentary about the history of Atlantic Beach is in the works, and crews came from Texas to the Grand Strand this weekend to film scenes.
The film, titled “Four Blocks, The Last Black Pearl” is expected to be released during the Summer of 2024.
News13’s Claire Purnell spoke to members of the film crew Sunday, where she was given a behind-the-scenes look into the documentary.
The CEO and founder of Gone Mad Productions, Madelyn Patterson, is producing the film. She said filming started back in November and resumed this weekend.
“I had never heard of a black-owned beach. Immediately my interest was sparked, like ‘wow in our history books … never heard of this. A lot of our history is verbal,” Patterson said.
The film is being written and directed by Horry County native Jasmine Frink, to tell the history of Atlantic Beach to future generations.
“It just really creates that feeling of touching back to your ancestors and I think it’s a beautiful thing,” Frink said.
One of the reenactment scenes is all about Punk’s Patio, which Frink said was a popular club on the beach in the 1950s and 1960s.
While the club is no longer there, the crew was able to reenact something similar.
“We created that entire scene. We had people playing pool, we had people dancing, swing dancing, the Charleston, we had people playing cards and just really taking it back into that moment and really giving people nostalgia again,” Frink said. “Because it’s important that we never forget that feeling that our ancestors had and realizing like this is the only place that our ancestors could go and they literally made the best of it.”
Frink also said one of her favorite parts about filming in Atlantic Beach this weekend was working with one long-time Atlantic Beach resident named Reverend Jake Bellemy who calls himself “the O.G. of Atlantic Beach,” having lived there for years.
“The minute he heard about the film, he signed up to be a part of the re-enactment scene and knew he wanted to be a part of it,” Frink said. “When he was there he really instilled in us ‘hey, this is my history. This is where we’re from and when you’re on Atlantic Beach, you’re with family.'”
Frink said the documentary isn’t cheap, as they predict the film to total over $100,000. They are raising money to help fund these efforts.
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