Lumina Daze adds outdoor movies, plein air painting

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A century after Wrightsville Beach’s iconic Lumina Pavilion drew crowds to the south end of the island for dining and dancing under the stars, the Lumina Daze will once again revive the spirit of those bygone days.

Guests will bid on silent and live auction items during the 19th annual event at the Blockade Runner Beach Resort Sunday, Aug. 30, while the Wilmington Big Band and the Dixieland All Stars provide entertainment. Crowd-favorite beach band The Imitations will be back to lead guests in line dancing on the outdoor patio.

The event also is introducing new entertainment for 2015, including outdoor movies and plein air painting.

During Lumina Pavilion’s heyday, a movie screen was erected 50 feet out into the ocean so families could sit on the beach and watch films. Wrightsville Beach Museum of History Executive Director Madeline Flagler said she and other Lumina Daze organizers are working with Cucalorus Film Festival’s  executive director, Dan Brawley, to create a scene reminiscent of that.

“Cucalorus has a new outdoor popup movie screen, so they’re going to put that up outside on the lawn between the Blockade Runner and the beach,” she said.

Short films about beach culture as well as period pieces that complement the nostalgic atmosphere of the event are expected to be shown, Flagler said.

Five plein air artists — Betty Brown, Barbara Bear Jamison, Rena Powell MacQueen, Jodie Wrenn Rippy and Jenny McKinnon Wright — will be sprinkled throughout the crowd of Lumina Daze revelers, painting on easels en plein air as guests look on.

“I think that will be an interesting thing for people to do as they walk around, to be able to watch that,” Flagler said, adding the completed paintings would be sold later in the evening.

Proceeds from the event go toward preserving the museum’s collection of artifacts and memories as well as organizing programs throughout the year.

“We’re a private nonprofit, so it’s mostly through our memberships and our fundraisers that we’re able to function,” Flagler said.

Primarily, Lumina Daze stirs nostalgia for those who remember Lumina Pavilion and gives those who don’t a taste of that whimsical era.

“The important part of this is the history aspect,” Flagler said. “With the size of Wrightsville Beach, it’s all about the community — who is here, why we’re here, what brought us here, what keeps us here. It harkens back to the late 1800s and early 1900s and the Lumina Pavilion, so we try to remember that and encompass that spirit.”

email emmy@luminanews.com

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