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HomeArtDive into Summer with Jaws: Brooksville's Moonlight Movie Event on July 13th

Dive into Summer with Jaws: Brooksville’s Moonlight Movie Event on July 13th

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The winner of three Academy Awards and ranked #48 on the American Film Institute Top 100 Movies and #202 on the IMDB Top 250 Movies of all time, the action-adventure classic known as Jaws is also considered a signature summertime movie—which makes this 1975 flick the ideal choice for the next Brooksville Main Street Moonlight Movie, Saturday, July 13th from 6:30 p.m.-11 p.m. at Hernando Park, located at 205 E Ft Dade Ave. in downtown Brooksville.

“I’m not sure if it’s the ultimate summer movie, but Jaws IS a classic,” said Dawn Triconi, executive director of Brooksville Main Street. “We had two movies picked out and the BMS Promotions committee and a few of our board members thought Jaws would be interesting. I know it can be a bit scary for the younger crowd, but it is a classic.”

Presented as a part of a Pool Party in the Park, this showing of a timeless thriller is a family-friendly event at which guests are encouraged to bring their inflatable pools and pillows for optimum enjoyment.

“We are encouraging movie-goers to bring their own inflatable pools and pillows for comfort and coolness,” said Triconi. Blankets and chairs are also welcome.

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The movie starts at dusk, but guests are encouraged to arrive early to participate in specially planned pre-movie games and activities.

In addition, those in attendance can come dressed in an array of whimsical, tropical costumes, such as a Tacky Tourist, Shark or perhaps a Mermaid or Merman in honor of Susan Backlinie, a former Weeki Wachee mermaid who became an icon after her appearance in the opening scene of “Jaws”—playing none other than the starring shark’s inaugural victim, Chrissie Watkins. Backlinie, an accomplished actress, model and stuntwoman who often returned to make special appearances at Weeki Wachee, passed away in May.

“In ‘Jaws,’ Susan Backlinie was the young skinny-dipper out for a nighttime swim off the coast of Amity Island who became the shark’s first victim,” said Triconi. “She recently passed away in California, but as you mentioned in a previous article about her, she was a Weeki Wachee mermaid from 1965 to 1966. We wanted to honor her as a former resident of Hernando County.”

The American Mermaid, a mermaid performer, model, and operator of the Orlando-based nonprofit agency Supporting Water, will make a special appearance at this event and host a meet-and-greet.

“The American Mermaid will be making an appearance (sponsored by downtown merchant John Loetscher, owner of Country Depot) as well,” said Triconi.

Emily Alexandra Guglielmo, aka the American Mermaid, is looking forward to her special appearance at the Moonlight Movies presentation of Jaws.

“I am known as The American Mermaid, and I am a friend of John. I will sell my makeup out of his shop starting in July!” she said. “I was born and raised in Tampa, Florida, and would like to give back to the community.”

The Brooksville Fire Department has something “COOL” planned for the crowd. All in attendance are encouraged to bring towels in anticipation of this special surprise and to prepare to enjoy spirited music and dancing before the movie with DJ Shalamar and friends.

The event is free to the public and includes free downtown parking. Guests can stroll through downtown and enjoy restaurants, merchants, and retail stores. Food trucks, ice cream vendors, and arts and crafts merchants will also be on site.

Presented as the ultimate community summer fun date for families, the City of Brooksville and Country Depot make this edition of the Moonlight Movie series possible. About 200 attended the June Moonlight Movies, where the featured movie was Cars.

“Everyone had a ball! We had car races, costume car contests, musical games and a DJ,” said Triconi. “We also had a few food trucks and merchants selling their wares. It was warm, but as attendees left, they said they couldn’t wait until the next movie!”

Triconi reveals that the August 10th Moonlight Movie will feature the family classic “Back to the Future” as its centerpiece feature.

“We have partnered with DJ Shalamar to give away book bags to students right in time for the new school year,” said Triconi. “More details to follow.”

For more information, visit www.welovebvl.org or visit their Facebook page:

Megan Hussey
Megan Hussey
Megan Hussey is a features journalist and author who is the winner of Florida Press Association honors and a certificate of appreciation from LINCS (Family Support Domestic and Sexual Violence Prevention Task Force) and Sunrise Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Center for her newspaper coverage of these issues. She graduated cum laude from Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., with a journalism major and English/sociology minor, and previously wrote for publications that include the Pasco editions of The Tampa Tribune and Tampa Bay Times. A native of Indiana, she lives in Florida.
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