O. D. Pavilion Amusement Park is opening again this spring! Enjoy a thrilling ride, exciting games, great food and delicious snacks while looking out over the Atlantic Ocean. The O.D. Pavilion is the center of entertainment and fun in North Myrtle Beach’s Ocean Boulevard.
Family entertainment at its best. Enjoy the sweet smell of cotton candy and the excitement of thrilling rides for all ages. Also, relive the history of the O. D. Pavilion from years ago. It is located right on the beach with a stunning view of the ocean. The O. D. Pavilion Amusement park will be a must-see attraction on all your future vacations along the Grand Strand in South Carolina. You can also park for free and get parking on the streets!
The first Ocean Drive pavilion opened in June 1926. The first mention of the pavilion was made by the Horry Herald in May 20th, in a story about Ocean Drive Estates of Florence, SC. They were selling lots they had divided from tracts purchased in March and April from Case and Edge families. The May 20th story stated that “….materials are being assembled for a large pavilion or bath house.
On June 17th Ocean Drive Estates ran an ad in the Horry Herald promoting their development as the only one on the Atlantic Ocean with 15 advantages found nowhere else, including a Dance Pavilion, Bath House, Artesian Water, Gasoline Filling Station, a large 50-room hotel under construction, a spacious park, a proposed salt water swimming pool, saw mills to furnish building lumber, boating, good fishing, crabs-shrimps-oysters, plenty of game, and a safe strand for surf-bathing and automobile racing.
Belle Edge, a member of the Edge family that sold tracts to Ocean Drive Estates one year before, paid $10 for two lots on Ocean Drive Estates on May 14, 1927. These lots must have included the pavilion. Family histories suggest she purchased it “around 1928.” The Horry Herald reported four days later that Guaranty Realty Company had purchased Ocean Drive Estates sales and development. They bussed in visitors from all over North and South Carolina. This was an early form of “timeshare” sales. Guaranty Realty stated that they were renovating Ocean Drive Hotel in preparation for its May 15th opening. According to Florence News Review, the hotel had 80 beds and a 16-foot boardwalk that promenaders could use. The goal was to extend it to two miles. They were also using Pullman buses to bring visitors in from the Carolinas and Virginia.
The Colonial Orchestra of Florence was hired in 1928 to provide entertainment for the hotel’s hardwood-floored pavilion. 25 cottages were soon to be added to the hotel’s 65 guest bedrooms.
Ocean Drive Estates / Edge’s original pavilion was described as a “square, one-room, wood frame, hardwood floors, wrap around porch, shuttered windows, and wood-frame.” A wrap-around porch was located near the drink stand. There was a boardwalk that ran from the pavilion to the beach and there were two bathhouses right next to it.
In 1930 and 1931, Belle had Dwight Case manage her pavilion. He also booked some orchestras from Chadbourne, Florence and gave preaching Sunday night. Gastonia’s Mr. Cashwell was one of the preachers. Dwight brought a Negro band from Myrtle Beach and they played there once. For those who wanted to play, he moved the piano from the family home to the pavilion. He also held occasional square dances there.
Although admission was required for the dances and many people came from far away to enjoy the music, they were able to sit on the pavilion porch and listen “for free”. (Early “Napsters” trying to get music for free. People watched the dancers and bands through the windows. Intermission was chaotic with people rushing to the soft drink stand and many others strolling the boardwalk.
Belle was busy in the boarding house that she had taken over. This is where she opened Ocean Drive’s first cafe downstairs, which she also opened in an old garage. It is no longer there, but it was across the street from Hoskin’s cafe.
Dwight opened two versions, both novelties and gift shops of Case’s Place. One was on Main Street, now Hardwick’s Cafeteria (now Duffy’s Seafood), and one was on Highway 17 near Dick’s Pawn Shop.
After Roberts Pavilion was built in May 1938, Belle leased her pavilion, drink stand, and kitchen to a man who renovated it and turned it into a skating rink. The second year of his lease ended, and he left town. After many years, Belle decided to tear down the pavilion and the drink stand and lease the property to an entertainment company. Roberts’ early photographs show many structures on the South Side. There were also a bowling alley, and many others. One of these was the original pavilion.
Belle moved the bath houses across the street. One became a grocery and the other Ocean Drive’s first Hardware store owned by Purley Edge. After a while, they were removed from the corner and Belle leased it to the Beach Shop’s new owner.
Built by William Roberts in 1936, the Roberts Pavilion was an open-air pavilion that overlooked the Grand Strand. On jukeboxes at this pavilion and other popular beach pavilions, the rhythm & blues post-World War II ear (later known as beach music) was played. These pavilions were where dancers learned the Shag, which was named the state dance of 1984. In 2001, beach music was designated the state’s popular music.
Roberts Pavilion was among several pavilions that were destroyed by Hurricane Hazel, October 15, 1954. This area was home to the Ocean Drive Pavilion, which was constructed with salvaged timbers from the same foundation in 1955-1957. Ocean Drive, or “O. D.” but it was consolidated into North Myrtle Beach, in 1968. O. D. houses the Shaggers’ Hall of Fame and hosts shag events every month from April through November.
Stop by Pirates Cove after your adventure for a great Mexican meal.