Anna Maria Island, Florida: Hollywood of the Gulf Coast
For more than 60 years, Anna Maria Island has been a star. The island’s spectacular white sand and turquoise waters have frequently been used by Hollywood movie producers to create the ideal beach scenes. Some of the biggest icons in Hollywood have graced the beaches of AMI, however it’s easy to see the island is the real star.
AMI is a 7.5 mile island located directly south of Tampa Bay on the Gulf of Mexico. The island does not permit high-rise resorts, which keeps the beaches much less crowded. Majestic sunsets, high-quality quartz sand and low predictable Gulf waves make the Island and its surrounding waters a perfect choice for filming.
Here are a few of the films shot on Anna Maria Island that you might have seen or heard of:
- On An Island With You: Anna Maria Island’s first appearance on the big screen was in the 1948 MGM Studios musical “On an Island With You.” The film cast Hollywood legend Esther Williams as the lead in one her infamous swimsicals, films that combined her stellar acting, singing and swimming. The film also included icon Jimmy Durante. The plot of the movie centers around a love triangle on a military base in the Hawaiian Islands. AMI, seamlessly pulls off its part as an exotic island destination in the film, just as it continues to do every day in real life.
- Out Of Time: One word… Denzel. Ladies, feel free to being swooning. That’s right Denzel Washington ran the beaches of Anna Maria Island while filming the 2003 MGM film “Out of Time.” Floribbean restaurant Banana Cabana proudly promotes that they were host to Denzel’s thank you dinner for the “Out of Time” crew members.
- The Perfect Storm: If Denzel isn’t a big enough heartthrob for you, how about George Clooney or Mark Walberg? The 2000 Warner Brothers picture The Perfect Storm was partially filmed on off the coast of Anna Maria Island. Producers used the predictably smooth Gulf Coast waters to capture the calm before the storm.
You don’t need to be a movie producer to capture the beauty of AMI. The greatest films shot on the island will always be home movies. Although it’s nice to see AMI on the silver screen, the culture of the island has never been about the limelight. It’s about families and friends enjoying one of the world’s most magnificent beach settings in a quiet, relaxed environment. So be sure to bring your camera.