Visit Old Florida, Anna Maria Island’s Movie Star History

The Sunshine State has plenty of tourist attractions, from natural scenic wonders to man-made marvels.
Among one of their own tropical islands, Anna Maria Island has become a modern paradise, and the island’s history is becoming better known.
Silver Surf Gulf Resort, is part of a community island resting along a 7-mile barrier reef on the West Coast of Florida that features unspoiled white sand beaches, crystal clear Gulf waters, and is adored by many for its “Old Florida” charm. Today, it is comprised of three different municipalities that include Bradenton Beach, Holmes Beach, and the City of Anna Maria. Although once only accessible by boat, today there are two bridges connecting the island to the mainland of Bradenton.
Anna Maria Island’s Motion Picture Past
Enjoy a peaceful stay at Anna Maria Island, Silver Surf Gulf Beach Resort while taking in the paradisiacal history of a movie star past  Anna Maria Island shares.  Beginning in 1921, one of the first actors, Paul Gilmore, purchased 40 acres to start a filming colony. In the 1940s, the island airport set the stage for a Hollywood movie. Suddenly hundreds of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer workers descended on tranquil Anna Maria.
Jack Holmes had cleared 30 acres of jungle on his 350 acres in Holmes Beach for the airport in 1947. The “airport” was actually a landing strip constructed in 13 days. Before it was finished, MGM contacted Holmes with the Hollywood proposal.

So, Anna Maria masqueraded as a deserted south sea island for the movie, “On an Island with You.”

As fantasy unfolded, Hollywood’s swimming star Esther Williams led elaborate water ballet sequences, and supporting actress Cyd Charisse danced rumba while an orchestra played on the remote island.

Meanwhile From Anna Maria’s Movie History
… Williams was kidnapped and cannibals captured Ricardo Montalban. Williams was engaged to Montalban but she fell in love with Peter Lawford. However, it ended well because Montalban and Charisse also fell in love with each other.

Today city offices, a library, a fire station, and recreational facilities cover the “airport” that brought danger and romance to Holmes Beach.

The rest of the story, well, you will have to come visit to learn more! Visit Silver Surf Resorts Today!

Silver Surf has 50 charming units located just across the street from its own private beach. It is situated on Bradenton Beach, one of three cities on Anna Maria Island. Silver Surf is the number one resort among Bradenton beach resorts, and the crown jewel among numerous Anna Maria Island hotels.
Our family friendly staff will help you find other Island activities or local places that will help you find other Island living. Visit what Bridge Street has to offer you.
As we say, you are going to love it here!

Our Resorts

Silver Resorts offers two locations on Anna Maria Island. Bridgewalk, a Landmark Resort, and Silver Surf Gulf Beach Resort.

Bridgewalk Resort

Bridgewalk is located on the quaint, centrally located, Historic Bridge Street and it offers spacious accommodations, most with Jacuzzi tubs and large screened verandas.


Silver Surf Resort

Silver Surf is an affordable Anna Maria Island resort with a private beach and a friendly, social atmosphere.