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ly Eory Goo&ln "Bill" Ffturtwns bom ltuch 13, 1873and openedhis d-t/' I rliam C. NervJersey 1905.In the sumrner n^t ftertre in C'amdan, in of \ /t/ V Y 1906.he arrivedin \\ildwood on an escursion train. Escurston trainsihat operated ftom Philaddphh and Candenwee vervpopularand brouglrtmany individuals and frmilies to dre seashore enioy dre ocean to and dre freshdr- Fhmt decidedth.ntthis s,-ould a good placeto opa, a be theatre.
Wildwood By Thc Seeis located on e barder islaod drnost et thc exteme end of &e New Je(sey coasdiae, about 80 miles soulherst of Philadelphia"It sheresthe islend with thr,eeother mmmuoitics. Wildwood rnd its sister coromunities continued to g!o\r. Hunt took over the operation of other th!attes et the seashore and expanded his theate chain- By tle I 930's he hed built e chria of up to 22 theatses that strerched as far north as Treatoo and into the Philaddphia area. Hunt was elccted a SAte lss!mblyman in 1933 and a state senator in 1936. In 1935 he acquircd the Oceen pieg as eoterteiinent 4od amlsem!ot complex that extended ftom the boerdrralk over the oc!atr. Hunt continued to suke impmvemens to Ocean Pier but sedly the pier, Hunds Nixon Thertre and boardwalk stores were desUoyed by fire on Chrisr'nrs Eve 1943. T\e Stand Tteate vas destmyed by fite the followiag year. Hunt begeo to dispoee of the theates oubide of the Wildwood aree and by 1947 he had coocentrred his entertainnent enterprises in lower Cape May County. He owned five dduxe theatresio WiIdwood, the Sadight Bdlrcom in Wildwood end rwo theatres io oea$y Crpe Mey. He ouned *nd operetedall of the tlcaues ia Wildwood and Cape May. His sons, William D. (Bud) Hunt and Guy B. Hunt were active in the day-to-dry theatre and ballroom operations. Thc involremcnt by his sons aIloved Bill Hunt time to d!vote to his other businessand civic interests. He was publisher of tbree weekly newspepets,headed a locd brak end vas active ia fhe Chambers of Commerce in Wildwood, Crpe May and Cape May County, the Wildvood Golf ald Country Club ead a leeder ia the plenning of the regiorul medical center. Afur Wodd War II the Wildwoods bccame even more populer rs a scashore rcsorL The wintcr populetioo of the Wildwoode was rbout 12,000, but it exploded to ovet 150,000 duting the su:mmer rnonths. Wildwood is e favoritc fanrily resort fot many femilies ftom tte PhilrdeJphi. area. Some families come for the entite sumner rnd others come for a few daysor longer. Hunt's Theatres hrd the advantage of showing first run Iilrns before fiey were shown io the Phil.delffi atce. Tte evening shows in tlre summer did very well. There is
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(Courtesy of Sandy Hunt Goulet) Ttc fillatia2 bigqg ffiat it \\e -52 195'l MotionPicturcAlmaqrc: HUNT, WILLIAM C.: Presiderg Hunds Theatcs, Inc b, Port Jcffersoo, Long Island, Mar. 13,l87Z m{fricd. Pio[eer sbop tnding business,estrblished i&a of stamp trediog tkoughout Eastem United Stotes,Sewed fout ternr in N. J. ShE Asscmbh elect!d Stab Serutor, 1936; publisheq Sildwood I-ea&r," urcetly newspapet- Ia 1905 opened Etst theate, Camdeo, N. J; dwirg 1907 four otlers opeocd ia.NewJesey aod Peonsytvania. Acquire<l cilcuit of 22 &eates in oext 15 yer8; purchssed Ocean Pier, Wildwood, 1935; fiorn 1936-46 consolidated resort set-up disposiog of oe.y theitles; itr !0lldwood alone ovns 6ve arodem theatres. Member, Masons & Sluine Chsobet of C,oomereg Clubo: Kiwanir, I0tldrpood Golf & Country Club. Pres., Wildvood Tnrst Co., Cape May County CharabetofCornnerce. Number45

nothmg worse at a seashote tesott Philadelphiaarea. in the Atlantic City area. than when it rains during the days. On Juae 12, 1973,Hunt's signed Under the Fraat Comoanv- the rne fam drryes everyone off tbe a lease to operate the neq' Rio Ocean Theate was twinne;- the beach aod maoy head for the mov_ Twio TheaUeon the mrintaod in Strand was divided into four ies- The raiay day matinees always Rio Grande. Much of the year sceening rooms aad the boarddid verv u'ellround retail business had moved \ralk entreoce closed. The Blakcr Ia tire 1950's the Wildwood from thc Wildwood busincsscenwas twinned and ioioed to the clubs were feanrri.g the biggesr ter to the mainland, The year Shore Theatre to become the flames rl enterteiment The tade round populatioa of the aearby Shote Fout papet VaticE tefe'lIeA to Wildwootl mainland communities had draWilliam D. (Bud) Hunt died at as Ias Vegas Easq as many of the maticallyincreased. age85 on March31, 1991. acts that played Las Vegasiso apGuy Hunt died at age66 on July In Decenber 1996, the Frao-k peared in Wildwood. Manv of the 2, 1975. At the time of his death, Company aanounced plans to defeatuted perforrners aod the per_ Guy Huot was past presideotaod a molish the Shore anJ Bhker ald soonel from the hotels and ciubs member of the board of the Icerbuild a 10- to 12-screencompler were seen at the matinees at Hunt,s national Associatioq of Amuscon the site. The Casinowas demolTheatres. nent Parks and Attnctions. He ishedin 1999. Hunt built the Hunt's Amuse_ had the responsibility for the manAs of the summer of 2001. the ment Pier on the ocean side of the agement aod operation of Hunt's Shore aad Blaket remain closed. boardwalk. It u'as built on the site AmuseinentPier. The Oceao Th!etie oq the boatdof the Ocean Pier that was deThe weekly ne\rspape$ w!rc walk is closed.The Beach in Caoc stroyed in 1943. The 6rst ohase of sold in 1975. Bud Hunt sold the May has beeo divided into four the Huat's Piet opened oo M.moStdight Bdhoom in 1978. The screening tooms and the Harbor rial Day 1957. Some of the prcr Rqlslt Theatre was sold and conIheatte in Stoae Harbor has been was built over the ocean and H]rnr verted to a boatdwalk merchant divided into five screecing rooms. acquired the rights ftom the State mall The CasinoThea&ewas conBoth the Bcachand Harbor ooerof New Jersey to extend the oier verted to a large video pador. The ate yeai rould. The Rio Twin Ls furtler over the ocean ia 1960 Ld ShoteTteatre was twinned. dosed several years ago- The again in 1966. Afur the 1985 season,Hunds Strand operates only d'r;ng the The Oceaa Pier fire also de_ Pier was sold to a group of invessufllmer. stroyed Huqt's Nixon Thea&e ditors. The theatreswere sold to the Hoyt's Cinemas acquired the recdy opposite the pier on the land Frank Company, another family rreaK Lompmy several years ago. side of the boatdwalk. HunCs owned theaue business operating opened the Oceau Theatre on May 27, 1965 oo the site of Lhe Nixon Theatrc. For the fust vcars- it prayeo a slngte g picture for the entire summer, In 1965 Hunt took over thc Harbor and park Theatres in Stone llarbor and the Avalon Theatre in Avalon. W. C. Hung the founder of Hunt's Theatres,died at the age of 98 on July 12, 1970.His .oo". W.. (Bud) C. Hunt and Guy B. Hunq continued to operate the theatr! cbain atrd amusement pier. The ctovie studios were now releasing their fiLns sirnulaneously across Lhecountry, and although the summer movie busiaesswas still good, Here are the men who supervisethe operationsof Hunt Enterprises, f.gm left; wllllam D, Hunt, fouflder-presldent Wllllam C. Hunt, wltiiam I. Drl, the Hunt's no longer had thl adcounselArthur Lewis, and Guy Hunt, a wide-wake, progressivecombinavartage of showiog first tun filrns - ExhibitorMagazine, September20, 1950 before they were shown in the I November 2OOi