MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — Memorial Day Weekend looked a little different this year.
The poor weather made many people along the Grand Strand trade in their beach chairs for movie theatre tickets, and burgers fresh off the grill for popcorn in a bucket.
The general manager of one movie theatre in the Market Common told News13’s Claire Purnell that they sold easily more than 12,000 tickets over the holiday weekend.
“People, especially tourists, they don’t come to the beach to go to movies but when it rains, that’s the first thing they do is look for something else to do,” said Duane Farmer, general manager of Stone Theatre.
While the rainy weekend might have been a pleasant surprise for people like Farmer, it certainly was not for those who had outdoor events planned along the Grand Strand.
“They indicated that there has never been a weekend where it has rained continuously for two consecutive days in the history of memorial week bike fest,” said Atlantic Beach town manager Benjamin Quattlebaum.
The weather not only negatively affected Atlantic Beach’s Bike Festival, but it also led Myrtle Beach to close its beaches to swimmers on Friday, cancel some of its Memorial Day festivities and dampened the mood among tourists.
Shaneen Morgan, who visited the Grand Strand for the holiday weekend, was not thrilled about the poor weather conditions.
“It was constantly raining so I had to stay in my hotel,” she said. “I couldn’t do anything. My clothes were soaking wet. I didn’t bring an umbrella, so I had to go pay for one that cost me almost 12 dollars.”
Quattlebaum said the rain was not bad for everyone in Atlantic Beach though, as he said some local restaurants actually benefited from it.
“In fact he sold out, when I was there on Sunday, [he] had sold out all of their desserts. So the local I think impacted,” he said. “I think the vendors who had truck vendors still had a constant patronage even during the rain.”
People might not have gotten their Vitamin D fix over the weekend, but at least some had their dessert, candy and popcorn cravings satisfied.
“We always have a tally in the office of record-setting days and this is like third place right now — that’s how busy we were,” Farmer said.
News13 is looking into if the weather had any impact on the rates of crime and drunk driving arrests the city usually sees this time of year.
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Claire Purnell is a multimedia journalist at News13. Claire is from Louisville, Kentucky. Claire joined the News13 team in January 2023 after graduating from the University of Colorado-Boulder in December 2022. Follow Claire on Twitter and read more of her work here.