Posts tagged “movies

To See, or to Be: That is the Question

Posted on May 11, 2012

Living history is woven tightly into the fabric of American tourism. Places stage culture for the visiting public, often donning costumes and sometimes “getting into character.” Yet tourists have always sought more than spectacle, choosing participatory travel experiences whenever possible. Literature, film, and television stimulate travelers to seek out places associated with fiction, and here, too, tourists like to immerse themselves in imaginary place. Highlighting a North Carolina tour company that builds upon the current zeal for the post-apocalyptic film The Hunger Games, a recent Reuters article explores the popularity of literary and Hollywood tourism, pointing to the increasingly sophisticated packaging of experiences that let the consumer walk in a character’s shoes. Almost a decade ago, the late historian Jim Weeks argued in Gettysburg: Memory, Market,…

A Fisheye View of Silver Springs

Posted on April 28, 2012

Silver Springs, located just east of Ocala in north-central Florida, is internationally known for its crystalline waters teeming with fish. As American Tourism contributor and Silver Springs historian Tom Berson demonstrates, visionary leaders, transportation innovations, and depictions in popular culture spread the attraction’s name far and wide. Apart from the famed theme park where glass-bottom boats glide atop the shimmering natural pool, the springs afforded ideal conditions for underwater filming. Silver Springs has served as a stand-in for the Everglades, the Amazon River, the Bahamas, and even Africa. Several early Tarzan movies starring Johnny Weissmuller were filmed at Silver Springs in the 1930s, and the popular late ’50s TV show Sea Hunt featured numerous underwater sequences shot at the Florida attraction. A fish-gilled monster man…