Muter Construction provided general contracting services for the renovation of Bijou Park, a pocket park located on Wilmington’s Riverfront, connecting Front Street businesses with those on Water Street and the Riverwalk. The design emphasizes both safety and connectivity with the downtown area. The park features include overhead string lighting, bollard lighting and uplighting in the trees, a green wall, “bistro-style” dining, and decorative and transparent screen panels.
The location used to be home to the Bijou Theatre, the first movie theatre in the city. The memory of the old theatre is remembered through new artwork being placed throughout the park.
Bijou Theatre was also North Carolina’s first permanent “moving picture” theatre. It opened in 1906 as a tent with 300 folding chairs inside. In 1912, the doors to the first structured movie theatre opened to the public, and after 44 years, it was eventually shut down. It was then torn down in 1963.
The City of Wilmington decided to keep the only remaining piece of the theatre, which is the original floor. It can be found on the ground at the entrance of the park, with the name “Bijou” spelled out in tiles.