Winners of final “Come To Marco” essay contest
The winners are Corey Heidemann in the kids’ category and Camille Sonesen among the adult entrants.
They each won a $50 U.S. Savings Bond, courtesy of Keith Dameron at IberiaBank on Marco.
Here are their winning essays in this, the final round of our Come to Marco Essay Contest.
Camille: “It’s hard not to fall in love with Marco Island, as soon you drive over the Jolley Bridge. If you’re fond of spectacular sunsets and emerald green seas, pristine beaches, dolphins playing in the waters as you boat alongside of them; great weather, fishing and friendly people, then Marco is for you. As with most persons who visit, they never want to leave our Island and a good number of these tourists eventually wind up as residents of the Island. So, come to our Island and enjoy!”
Corey: “Marco is a beautiful place to vacation. There is so much beauty to this quaint little city. The sunsets are beautiful; the beaches have powdery soft sand and glistening waters. There are winding bike paths for long, relaxing bike rides. There is plenty of great fishing. We have a variety of wildlife here: crabs, fish, birds, turtles, dolphins, manatees. For the more extreme there are ok waves for surfing, tubing, skim boarding, jet skiing, boating, wake-boarding, and parasailing. In other parts we have calm waters for more serene people. There are only so many vacation days, so why not use them to vacation here? We also have movie theaters and restaurants. The restaurants here have scrumptious food, especially the seafood, with its fresh-from-the-water taste, because it is! So come on down and enjoy our yummy food and have some fun in the water!”
That’s it for our essay contest. Many thanks to everyone who took the time to share their talents with us and our readers. Thanks also to the teachers and staff at Tommie Barfield Elementary School and the Marco Island Charter Middle School who got their students involved in a big way. Many of the essays are on the Chamber of Commerce special website: seeyouinthesand.com.
And special thanks to Keith Dameron at IberiaBank for providing the prizes, those $50 U.S. Savings Bonds.
Happy Birthday Marco Movies
Among Marco Island’s many pleasures, the movie theater complex here has been one of the best over the years.
That may sound funny, because movie theaters have been entertainment fixtures in American life forever, or so it seems. But our movie theater is more than a few screens showing films.
Marco Movies observes its 17th anniversary Friday as a once-unique and still unusual sort of dinner and drinks cinema house. And proprietor Nick Campo has been the man behind the movies for all that time.
When Marco Movies multi-screen theater opened in 1993, we had a lot of current events to contemplate. Bill Clinton was inaugurated for his first term as president. The fiery disaster in Waco shocked us all. David Letterman began his late night show on CBS.
Millions of Americans went to the movies to escape some or all the above, but at the time Marco Movies was the only theater for many miles around where we could consume a lot more than popcorn and candy with our film fixes.
The website film.com reports that some of the big movies that year included “Schindler’s List,” the Steven Spielberg classic about the Nazi Holocaust. Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington starred in the haunting film “Philadelphia,” and Hanks also gave us a memorable romp with Meg Ryan in “Sleepless in Seattle.”
Other memorable films of ’93 included “Jurassic Park,” “The Fugitive,” “Groundhog Day” and that all-time favorite, “Robin Hood: Men in Tights.”
Nick Campo remembers well the date Marco Movies opened its doors, Dec. 17, 1993. He and his partners, Jon Hanson, Charlie Shumway, Elliott Gelfand and Harvey Hoffman, were excited about opening night and the two films on the marquee, “The Flintstones” and “The Three Musketeers.” But the films almost didn’t run that night.
“We were having last-minute problems complying with fire regulations for the projection equipment,” Nick recalls, “So a fire official loaned us a dolly from his garage, the kind that rolls under cars, so we could move our gear around and meet the space regulations.
“One of my partners was at the county building department, trying to get the paperwork done while first-night customers were waiting in line to get in. It was a last-minute thing but we made it just in time to roll the films.
“Also our supplier sent us the wrong size platters that hold the film, so a work friend offered his old reel-to-reel projector. It worked, but we had to stand there and start the reels by hand to keep the film from snapping in two every time we played it.
When Marco Movies opened with a food-and-drink menu, it was the first cinema in the U.S. to do so with first run movies, says Nick.
“Comedian Jerry Lewis opened some theaters in California with films and food but they went belly up,” Nick says. “Some of those old ‘dollar theaters’ showing older films came along — dollar movies, 10-cent wings, beer for a dime, that sort of thing. But with full service and first-run movies we were first.”
Funny thing is, our local movie theater was not intended to be a venue for powerhouse, first-run movies. It just turned out that way.
There’s lots more lore and laughs to share with you from the first 17 years of the Marco Movies, so we’ll do that next week here in the Marcophiles column.
Marco Movies phone: 642-1111.
Chris Curle is a former news anchor for CNN and for ABC-TV stations in Washington, D.C., Atlanta and Houston. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don is a former ABC News correspondent and bureau chief and a former news anchor for CNN and ABC-TV in Atlanta. His Farmer File column appears Wednesdays in the Naples Daily News. E-mail: email@example.com.