LORIS, S.C. (WBTW) — The creator of the Myrtle Beach International Film Festival is building a film studio in Loris.

Jerry Dalton, the owner of Dalton Pictures, is currently building 20,000-square-feet of studio soundstages in Loris, something that has been in the works for two years.

“We’re going to bring in production into Loris and hopefully create a whole new economic sector,” Dalton said.

Dalton said Downtown Loris will be utilized for filming motion picture, television and web series content. One of the sets will be a restaurant state which can be altered quickly into different themes.

“It’s all on wheels,” Dalton said. “That way we can put it into place, set up a restaurant — set up a full 4,550-seat restaurant with a bar, everything — disassemble it, move it back down into storage and can become a clothing store, it can become a bank, it can become whatever it needs to be for a film set.”

Tours will take place as filming is in progress, allowing behind the scenes interactions.

“People are going to be able to get on a bus at the beach — North Myrtle Beach, Pawleys Island, wherever they’re staying, or people that live here — they’ll be able to come out, they’re going to get to see a film being filmed live,” Dalton said.

Todd Harrelson, mayor of Loris, said he’s excited for the economic development, jobs, and tourism the studio will bring to the area.

“I think they’re going to come for this and then stay for something else, too,” Harrelson said. “So it’ll be a combination of things and just be one of the big ones that hits out there. And people say, ‘Wow, that’s a little lost,” and then they’ll come to Loris and they’ll say Loris ain’t little anymore.”

Dalton said he’ll hire local students who are interested in film and production, giving them a chance to grow in the business early.

The project is expected to be completed at the end of 2023.

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Maya Lockett is a reporter at News13. Maya is from Los Angeles. She joined the News13 team in November 2021. She graduated from Syracuse University. Follow Maya on Twitter and read more of her work here.