The Wave Returns: On-the-Water Showings of Jaws (and More) | Sports Destination Management

The Wave Returns: On-the-Water Showings of Jaws (and More)

Jul 20, 2023 | By: Mary Helen Sprecher

Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water.

(That was a reference for everyone born in and before the Baby Boomer Generation. Anyone younger than age 50 can use Google).

We’re well into the season of outdoor water sports, including swim meets, triathlons, water polo and summer synchro, which means it’s time for some fun event tie-ins to raise the numbers for spectators (and the economic impact).

Back in the prehistoric ages (you know, before 2020) SDM had noted a rising trend among waterfront destinations: Movies you could watch in the water (meaning from your boat, from a kayak or even while floating in an innertube or on a raft). And don’t think this was just any old set of movies. We’re talking Finding Nemo. We’re talking the Poseidon Adventure. We’re talking Aquaman.

Now, the wave is back, and movies are being often offered in conjunction with boat shows, fishing tournaments and more.

It wouldn’t be summer without at least one showing of Jaws, that classic 1975 film about a great white shark that terrorizes a New England town (The now-regarded-as-cheesy special effects are as much a part of the movie’s ambience as the period clothing, attitudes and hairstyles – and that cameo appearance of author Peter Benchley absolutely killing it as a zealous reporter.)

Ace Adventure Park in Oak Hill, West Virginia is showing Jaws, in fact, and it’s coming up on July 22. The water park will be open for an after-hours swim between 8 p.m. and (when the movie starts). Participants can watch the movie while lounging on the beach, floating in an inner tube or chilling on one of the park’s lake toys. Food and beverages will be sold.

Here is a roundup of some other waterfront and open-water movie events around the nation.

Tennessee: Roane Tourism kicked off the summer with “Jaws on the Water: Kingston,” in which offered participants the chance to float in innertubes (PDFs required) and watch the movie.

Not to be outdone, Mitchell Creek Marina in Allons had a showing of “The Shallows” as part of its Jaws on the Water series.

Washington State: The Port of Everett has announced its outdoor movie series, running from July 21 through August 25 at Boxcar Park. Individuals can sail in to watch movies or walk in to be a landlubber and enjoy movies from the park. Movies, offered on a 40-foot inflatable screen, are family-friendly.

Washington, DC: The Wharf at DC has “Sunset Cinema” with everything from “Mamma Mia” to “Where the Crawdads Sing.” Movies are held every Thursday from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Movies on the WaterAnd this is an idea just about everyone can steal use to their best advantage, particularly with a few weeks to set up advance promotions.

While not everyone has access to a lake (although plenty do), this is a concept that can be expanded upon for swimming pools. “Jaws” might be a bit much for the younger set but for crossover family/kid entertainment, there’s also the Pirates of the Caribbean movies (with appropriate cocktails for grown-ups).

But back to films made for adults. IMDB has a full list of movies that take place on and around water – and all of them lend themselves to further tie-ins including food and drink specials, costume contests, trivia competitions and other promotional ideas.

(Seriously, who already has ideas about showing Aquaman and challenging participants to come dressed as characters from the movie?)

Destinations might need to set up multiple showings. Or else you’re going to need a bigger pool. (Yes, young’uns, you’ll need to Google that too).

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