CCU Theater approved for Downtown Myrtle Beach

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David Hucks
David Hucks
David Hucks is a 12th generation descendant of the area we now call Myrtle Beach, S.C. David attended Coastal Carolina University and like most of his family, has never left the area. David is the lead journalist at

Myrtle Beach City Council approved a joint venture with Coastal Carolina University on Tuesday. The lease proposal allows CCU to operate a multipurpose theater in the Arts and Innovation District of the city.

The city passed both the lease agreement and the operations agreement at its meeting on Tuesday, months after the first readings were approved by the city in February. CCU’s Board of Trustees approved its portion of the lease agreement days later.


Homeless Myrtle Beach
Homelessness downtown is still a major issue

The area is currently a high crime area with a large homeless population. However, the City of Myrtle Beach spent $30 million in land purchases in an attempt to improve the area.

These purchases include the current site where the Coastal Carolina Theater will be located.

As part of Myrtle Beach’s Arts & Innovation District, the proposed facility would be located between Winna’s Kitchen and Sun City Café.

It can also be used for academic events, civic meetings, and other special events under the agreement between Myrtle Beach and CCU.

The move is considered a huge win for the City of Myrtle Beach. Myrtle Beach Area Chamber C.E.O. Karen Riordan recently placed Coastal Carolina President, Michael T. Benson, on her board of directors. This attempt at Empire Building ensures longevity for Riordan’s career.

The City of Myrtle Beach needs the backing of the brand leverage provided by Coastal Carolina University to improve the city’s overall image.

While CCU will handle operations and programming, Myrtle Beach will take care of typical landlord expenses such as structural and exterior repairs.

It is unclear what promises the city privately made to Benson to ensure the safety of 18 year old students attending functions in this area. Benson and Myrtle Beach City Mayor Brenda Bethune work very closely, however.

Bethune is the benefactor to the Spadoni College of Education at Coastal Carolina University. Her father,  William L. “Spud” Spadoni, funded the educational center at CCU.

Spadoni was a Lebanese Beer Godfather, who operated his syndicate at the origins of the Myrtle Beach area by piecing together many smaller beer operations, forming Better Brands. Bethune sold the Better Brands beer franchise in 2022. She still owns the land and building in the downtown region of Myrtle Beach where the distributorship operated.

Bethune’s property is located just west the coming CCU facility.

 CCU has the option to extend the initial lease by another five years.

The proposed facility’s start date is unclear.

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