Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Hello Everybody I'm Pasco County!

We are back! Our destination is always boasting about taking a vacation and sometimes the destination's blog takes a vacation. For this post we'll focus on film. Celebrities began flocking to New Port Richey in the roaring 1920s, when New Port Richey residents Mr. and Mrs. George Sims invited friends to visit from Great Neck, New York—a prominent movie and stage colony in the north. Sims Park, along the Pithlachascotee River on the edge of downtown, is named for this couple who introduced so many to the area and truly encouraged the city’s growth.

Cash's former home on the Cotee
Soon after the incorporation of the City of New Port Richey in 1924, Warren E. Burns of New York City began to develop his extensive holdings here. Lots were sold to silent screen idol Thomas Meighan, renowned comedian Ed Wynn, theatrical stars Raymond Hitchcock and his wife Flora Zabelle, movie stars Gloria Swanson and Leon Errol, jazz musician Paul Whiteman, and grand slam champion golfer Gene Sarazen. Meighan was among the first to build a home along the river. Today, boaters can view Meighan’s gatehouse, Swanson’s home, and Sarazen’s riverside residence.

While many expected New Port Richey to flourish as a movie and stage colony in the 1920s, the city never reached this destiny. The 1929 stock market crash and untimely death of Thomas Meighan in 1936 brought an end to such dreams. Nevertheless, New Port Richey did not develop into the Hollywood destination. However, it did lure a music legend like Johnny Cash. Our friends at the PATCH have the story

Lawrence Feeney has a short screen story to tell and you can be a part of it. Feeney is an actor, producer and director that is part of this upcoming weekend's Producers Guild Weekend Shorts Contest. Feeney is filming a documentary on Pasco County and how the area can be used for all kinds of film projects. Plus, he's producing a short film for the contest that will feature Pasco County actors and destinations. Contact him You never now you could be the next Thomas Meighan or Johnny Depp.