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"Dream Stage 10," the facility's newest sound stage, is the third-largest in the US.It houses the largest special-effects water tank in North America.
Its historic downtown has a one-mile-long Riverwalk, originally developed as a tourist attraction, and in 2014 Wilmington's riverfront was named the "Best American Riverfront" by USA Today.
Giovanni da Verrazano is reportedly the first European to observe the area, including the city's present site, in the early 16th century.
The first permanent European settlement in the area came in the 1720s when English colonists began settling the area.
The University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) provides a wide variety of programs for undergraduates, graduate students, and adult learners, in addition to cultural and sports events open to the community.
Wilmington is the home of EUE Screen Gems Studios, the largest domestic television and movie production facility outside of California.
City residents live between the river and the ocean, with four nearby beach communities: Fort Fisher, Wrightsville Beach, Carolina Beach, and Kure Beach, all within half-hour drives from downtown Wilmington.
In 2003 the city was designated by the US Congress as a "Coast Guard City".Many of the settlers were indentured servants, mainly from the British Isles and northern Europe.As the indentured servants gained their freedom, the colonists imported an increasing number of (permanent and much less expensive) African slaves as laborers into the port city.Additionally, the city was home to outspoken political leaders who influenced and led the resistance movement in North Carolina.The foremost of these was Wilmington resident Cornelius Harnett, who served in the General Assembly at the time, where he rallied opposition to the Sugar Act in 1764.On November 18, 1765, he pleaded his case directly to prominent residents of the area. Tryon, after having received his official commission as governor (a position he had only assumed after the death of Arthur Dobbs), was brought to Wilmington by Captain Constantine Phipps on a barge from the Diligence, and "was received cordially by the gentlemen of the borough." He was greeted with the firing of seventeen pieces of artillery, and the New Hanover County regiment of militia who had lined the streets.