A lot of exciting things are in motion at the Marco Movies these days and nights and we don’t mean just the motion pictures on the screens.
Nick Campo and his team of fast moving men and women are giving the theater complex in the Marco Walk plaza a high-tech, high-concept makeover worthy of some real cinema buzz.
Some of it we understand stylish and comfortable new seats throughout, high-end granite counter tops on counters and tables, new soundproofing in key places.
But when Campo lets his geek side loose on the technical makeover, Marco Movies will light up the plaza inside and out. We asked Nick to explain it all to us earthlings.
“We started last year with all digital projection and sound, 3-D, and such, and now the project continues with a multi-media center in the front of the facility. It has to do with raspberry pies.” (What?) It’s not pies, p-i-e-s.
“It’s ‘Pi,’ a small, $35 computer, a microcomputer.
“I have it hooked up to my monitor here and I have a special program running on it where it will have one screen with trailers (previews of coming attractions) on it all the time.
“I’ve been making long movies of trailers, taking them off of YouTube, downloading them, putting them through iMovie, making one large movie and then we are looping that to play the trailers over and over.
“We’ll have six of these computer programs outside, where people wait in line or walk by for information. Out there we’re building a whole new front, including six TVs behind glass. Four of them are thirty-two inch sets, straight up and down, in portrait mode or format, with the posters.
“They will be interspersed with information, descriptions, the actors in the films. It’s like a small slide show, with the information, then the poster, description, the poster again, repeating all day long.
“The trailers will repeat on a forty-inch TV screen. We’ll even have a speaker out there, keeping the volume low, so people can keep up with the action in and on the trailer.
One of the screens will have the schedule and on one of two 40” screens, we’ll have the trailers running all the time, all day long. I’ll have a speaker, keeping the volume low so that people can keep up with what’s happening in the trailer.”
We’re exhausted listening to Nick’s enthusiastic description of the flash and dash concept he’s creating. Fascinated, but exhausted. It sounds to us that when he is finished with this project, when he finally takes off his propeller hat and puts down his tiny little Raspberry Pi computers, Marco Movies will look more like a scale model Times Square than the way it was.
Nick’s plan is to get the heavy lifting done in plenty of time for the fall, when a steady stream of high-profile flicks will be running here, as Hollywood puts on a show for the pre-during-post holiday crush.
“It’s happening bit by bit now,” Nick says, “but I hope to have everything completed by mid-October.”
We left our visit with Nick and his vision for the near future and stood outside the Marco Movies, imagining all the changes to come. All Nick will need after the changes is a brace of searchlights darting through the evening skies, making the venue a place the astronauts might be able to see from space.
It’s only about 220 miles from here to the space station, as the crow-o-naut flies, and Nick does have his trusty Raspberry Pi in his pocket.
Chris Curle and Don Farmer have been writing for the Marco Eagle and other area newspapers for more than 30 years. They have a combined total of 99 years experience in major news media in the U.S. and abroad, including ABC News, NBC News, CNN, The Wall Street Journal and other newspapers and magazines. Their novel, “Deadly News,” is set partly in Marco Island.