Charity gala to reopen ‘One Tree Hill’ landmark
The doors of a 'One Tree Hill' landmark are finally reopening for a special charity event
BY HUNTER INGRAM
The StarNews of Wilmington
Thursday, September 13, 2018
WILMINGTON — The doors of a “One Tree Hill” landmark are finally reopening for a special charity event.
The brick warehouse at 1121 S. Front St. is a mecca of sorts for fans, heralded for its history as the set of the Tric nightclub and concert venue on The CW’s locally filmed drama series. But its doors have been closed since the show wrapped its nine-season run in 2012. Even the staircase built as an on-screen entrance has since been torn down, an effort to keep trespassers out.
Outside, few bricks are spared from the messages left in marker by fans who have visited the building on their trips to Tree Hill. Some are weathered and barely legible, while others are crisp and only a few days old. Scribbled in the confines of nearly every brick reachable on the north side of the building are quotes from the show, details of their trips and initials of the scribes.
Tric has been the elusive Tree Hill filming location for years, but one nonprofit is finally putting some life back in it.
Friends with Benefit Charity events has rented out the space for eight months to prepare for a special “Weekend in Tree Hill” event Feb. 21-24, 2019, featuring series star Sophia Bush. The weekend, all proceeds from which will go to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and The Girl Project, will feature a fashion show, concert and party at the former site of the Rivercourt basketball court at Battleship Park. The latter will be hosted by series co-star Antwon Tanner.
The nonprofit has already started making themselves at home in the building, planning for renovations to restore the venue back to its former on-screen glory. Local crew members who worked on the show are assisting in the recreation efforts.
Organizer Rae Agostino said when plans for the event started getting underway, they just needed a venue and never imagined Tric would be available.
“It was just kind of luck,” she said. “We were looking around and just happened to see this place was for rent and we fought hard to get it.”
Local events celebrating the extremely popular series are no longer uncommon. Since 2015, EyeCon Conventions has hosted bi-annual fan conventions with the stars of the show returning for Q&As, autograph and photo sessions, and parties -- each of which has been attended by more than 1,000 people.
But this particular event isn’t marching in the well-worn tracks as the conventions.
“We didn’t want to be a convention-style event,” Agostino said. “We applaud everyone who has done the conventions, but we just wanted to do something different.”
That begins with the building.
“This one will be different because we are going to be in the actual Tric building and fans have a much more personal connection to these places,” said organizer Sarah Sarganis, who moved to Wilmington three years ago to live in Tree Hill.
“I fell in love with this place,” she said.
“I packed up a bag and moved out here.”
With OTH fans at its heart, Agostino said the weekend of events will be a true tribute to fans -- all benefiting a good cause.
“I met my whole crew through ‘One Tree Hill,’” she said. “We are a family and we want to bring the fandom together.”
Fans won’t have to wait until February to get inside the building. OTH Merch will begin selling show-themed merchandise on select weekends beginning at the end of September.
Information from: The StarNews, http://starnewsonline.com