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Ocean Gallery is not really moving from the boardwalk - yet

You may have heard that Ocean City boardwalk landmark Ocean Gallery is packing up and moving to Hollywood, but don't book that flight to Los Angeles quite yet.

Owner Joe KroArt explains that he's been in talks for nearly five years with various television producers in an effort to create a reality TV show centered on the gallery.

After going back and forth with a number of pitches, one idea kind of floated to the top: a show that would follow his team as they relocated the beloved 50-year icon from Ocean City to Hollywood.

"[Reality TV] is all about appealing to people's emotions," says KroArt. "It's bizarre but it's all emotion."

So the suggestion was made about moving the building - "to be honest, where it went didn't matter," KroArt confesses, "but it's that the whole thing would stir emotions." Each episode would be about the memories and emotions that were stirred up related to the move.

The reaction to the publicity KroArt has garnered related to a potential move proves that the show would have plenty of fodder, he says, recounting how folks have been reminiscing and taking even more pictures of Ocean Gallery in recent days.

"It's triggered emotions that would be the fuel for a reality TV show," KroArt says. "I knew people were attached to the building, but what has happened is totally amazing."

But television isn't the only thing up his sleeve. Ocean Gallery has been featured in several movies, including the international Russian-made film "Turbo," which is set to be released next year.

"Ocean Gallery is hot. The name is hot. People want it to be in their movies," KroArt says, adding that the overwhelming interest makes the decision between doing a TV reality show or focusing on films a tossup.

However, at this point there are no firm contracts for the reality TV show and any filming that would involve relocating the boardwalk shop wouldn't happen until late 2015, he says.

"It's a great story. People love it - but it's entertainment."

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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