Special Issue, May 20, 2013 


"Gone with the Wind" Exhibit Blows into Elizabeth City, N.C. at the Museum of Albemarle


     Elizabeth City, N.C. is getting ready for its close-up. Beginning Saturday, June 1, the Museum of the Albemarle will host the wildly popular exhibit Real to Reel: The Making of Gone with the Wind. Showcasing authentic memorabilia from the 1939 film, including costumes, screen tests, scene props, actress Vivian Leigh's Academy Award and more, the exhibit reveals the true story of how author Margaret Mitchell's book became a record-breaking film. The exhibit will be open through Dec. 31.

     "Real to Reel takes museum visitors behind the scenes of one of the most famous films in Hollywood history," said Katie Edwards, who helped curate the exhibit. "Through costume sketches, scene storyboards, letters and other items, the exhibit highlights the many tasks and challenges, as well as the controversy, involved in this major production."

     The memorabilia featured in the exhibit is owned by James Tumblin, the former head of the Universal Studios makeup and hair department. His is one of the largest private collections of "Gone with the Wind" movie memorabilia known.

From Ashley Wilke's Uniform to Bonnie Blue Butler's Velvet Dress dress

     Producer David O. Selznick oversaw the making of "Gone with the Wind" with a cast and crew of 4,000 and  insisted on approving every detail of production. Real to Reel spotlights the roles of individuals, both on-screen and off-screen, who helped create the film.

     Movie buffs will recognize costumes worn by Vivien Leigh, Clark Gable, Olivia de Havilland, Leslie Howard and others. These costumes include "Scarlett's" dress from the attack at Shantytown scene; "Bonnie Blue's" velvet dress from her final scene; and the uniform "Ashley Wilkes" wore when he returned home after the Civil War. Of the 1,500 outfits that Costume Design Walter Plunkett designed for the film, his favorite appears in the exhibit, "Belle Watling's" burgundy velvet jacket and accompanying fur muff. 

     A sampling of other items in Real to Reel follows:

  • Chair from the "Smoker's Room" scene at the Twelve Oaks barbecue 
  • Max Steiner's original theme music score
  • The typewriter that screenwriter Sidney Howard used for the script
  • Letter of appreciation that Hattie McDaniel ("Mammy") wrote to a fan
  • Production paintings such as the "Burning of Atlanta" scene

Exhibit Runs June 1-Dec. 31, 2013 exhibit 

The North Carolina Museum of History hosted the exhibition in advance of its Elizabeth City appearance, where it is sponsored by the Friends of the Museum of the Albemarle. Admission is $5 for ages 18 and up; $2.50 (per person) for groups of 10 or more and for senior citizens ages 60 and up. Free admission for active military and their immediate family; youth ages 17 and under; and Friends of the Museum of the Albemarle members. A black tie gala opening is planned for May 31. Anyone may purchase a ticket by calling the museum at (252) 335-1453. Check the Museum of the Albemarle's facebook page for special June 1 opening day programs. 

Make a Weekend of It! weekend

When you make plans to see Reel to Real, be sure to extend your visit to enjoy all that Elizabeth City has to offer! From First Friday ArtWalks and the Mariners' Wharf Film Festival, to eclectic shops and tasty places to grab a bite, the "Harbor of Hospitality" has got you covered. We're located in the heart of northeastern North Carolina, halfway between Norfolk, Va., and North Carolina's Outer Banks. Check our accommodations offerings and book online at www.DiscoverElizabethCity.com

Photos, from top to bottom: Scarlett's dress: Vivien Leigh wore this dress during the attack at Shantytown scene in Gone with the Wind  (N.C. Museum of History Photo); Bonnie Blue's Butler's dress: "Bonnie Blue Butler's" velvet dress from her final scene (N.C. Museum of History Photo); Typewriter: The typewriter used by screenwriter Sidney Howard (Shaw-Tumblin Collection Photo).

Elizabeth City is the "Harbor of HospitalityŽ," located in Northeastern North Carolina on the Intracoastal Waterway, halfway between Virginia Beach and the Outer Banks. Situated on the Pasquotank River, the city has six National Register Historic Districts and is home to the Museum of the Albemarle, The Center at Arts of the Albemarle, Elizabeth City State University Planetarium, Port Discover Hands-on Science Center and one of the largest U.S. Coast Guard air stations in the Continental United States. Nature-based travelers are drawn to the area's proximity to Dismal Swamp and the abundance of outdoor recreational offerings. For additional information, call Elizabeth City Area Convention & Visitors Bureau at 1-866-ECity-4U (1-866-324-8948) or visit DiscoverElizabethCity.com. For up-to-the-minute info on happenings and events visit ElizabethCityHASIt.com

Contact Information:  


  400 S. Water Street, Suite 10, Elizabeth City, N. C.  27909 * (252) 335-5330; www.discoverelizabethcity.com
Discover the Good Life Daily in the Harbor of Hospitality!