Dawson's Creek Castfan encounters

Marc Gore (marcgore@yahoo.com)

First off, I'm not from Wilimington. I'm from Myrtle Beach which is two hours or so south of Wilmington. I've been down to Capeside, er... Wilmington on three separate occasions to do some stargazing. Unfortunately, I've never seen a single cast member, but I have run into a number of landmarks. I think I've never seen any Dawson's Creek activity because I always go on weekends, and I believe they only film on weekdays. Anyway, here's what I have seen and I do have a number of photos if you're interested.

My first trip was in the summer of 1998 right after season one had wrapped up. I had read about a few landmarks around town, but I didn't have too many reference points. I think the only landmark on that trip was James and Josh's apartment downtown. I remember it was quite publicized and easy to find. I took a photo of the doorway, but didn't bother to get any further. I think they've moved on to grander diggs.

My second trip was much more productive. Someone more familiar with Wilmington gave me specific directions to the downtown area. My first stop was the real Screenplay Video. It's a neat little video shop that looks just like it does on TV. The only real indication of its fame is a large cutout of Tom Cruise with a big word balloon that says something about this being the actual location from TV. Nothing too special.

After that I strolled down the boardwalk along the river. This was quite familiar to me as the general location that they use to film most scenes walking next to water. No particular areas of it stood out other than a fountain where I'm pretty sure Pacey and Andie danced or something. Walking along certainly sparked memories.

Next up was the Icehouse, or so I've been told. Honestly, the place looked nothing like the former Potter place of business, but I've been told by locals that it was the actual location. It's a ratty little restaurant/bar cramped up behind some buildings on a backroad. Not that impressive.

The only other highlight was a small open air market. I don't think the place has ever been used as a set, but there was a wall where celebrities have signed in. Josh and Katie both left their autographs. Katie's says something about Wilmington putting up with the cast. Pacey's is quite funny. His signature is sandwiched between Henry Winkler and James Earl Jones. Josh's signature says something about his dream coming true, being next to the Fonz and Darth Vader.

My third trip was a visit to ScreenGems Studios, home of the show. The tour is a must for any fan, though it is quite disorganized and way too crowded. The tour is designed for around thirty people at a time, but they had at least a hundred for both tours that morning. You get a nice look at Dawson and Jen's homes from the inside and outside. The real highlight for me was walking the halls of Capeside High. The attention to detail is remarkable with phony school announcements and everything. The tour is fun, but I hope they've done a bit more organization.