Fans of Miss America can now use modern technology to share memories of pageants past.
The new Miss America Memories Video Booth at Atlantic City Boardwalk Hall allows visitors to record videos of themselves reminiscing about their favorite pageant memories - whether attending a ceremony, meeting Miss America or just watching on TV.
For her part, Miss America 2013 Mallory Hagan - who won her crown in Las Vegas - recorded her memories of taking in the pageant's ancestral home of Boardwalk Hall for the first time.
Inside the free booth, Hagan appears on a computer screen to guide visitors through the video process. After recording, people can then post to Facebook and Twitter as well.
At the ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday, Casino Reinvestment Development Authority Executive Director John Palmieri said the booths were designed after the ones used by National Public Radio and StoryCorps to record people's memories.
"And for someone like me, who has never been to a pageant and is new to Atlantic City, my memories are of Mallory," Palmieri joked of his time "hanging out" with Miss America. "I'll call it the 'Mallory memories booth.'"
Hagan talked about how Atlantic City has "really embraced" the Miss America Organization since the announcement that the pageant will return to Boardwalk Hall in September.
"I was walking in a casino and an older gentleman recognized me," Hagan said. "A, it was a good feeling, and B, he was just thrilled. As someone who grew up in Atlantic City, he was so excited to see Miss America come home."
Hagan added that the booth was "a unique opportunity for our fans or long, long(time) supporters to share memories with friends and family," she said. "Miss America Organization history is so rich. We have executive directors who have volunteered for over 30 years."
Boardwalk Hall Marketing Director Valarie McGonigal recorded a video in which she talked about watching the pageant as a child.
"I'm a lifelong resident," McGonigal said, "and growing up, one of the highlights in our family was watching Miss America every year. Gathering in front of the TV trying to predict who the lucky woman would be."
CRDA spokeswoman Kim Butler said that each video would be reviewd before the content is released, to ensure that people use the booth for the right reasons.
The booth will be open through Sept. 30 whenever Boardwalk Hall's lobby is open.
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