Movie Buff’s Guide to Anna Maria Island

The serene, pleasant and often breathtaking scenery of Anna Maria Island and the surrounding Bradenton area has been the preferred filming location for a number of movies throughout the decades, as well as an adored vacation spot for Hollywood celebrities like Cameron Diaz.

Any movie buff craving some luxurious beach recreation will enjoy staying at our Anna Maria Island vacation rentals on this gorgeous and laid back barrier island. Film enthusiasts will find several high-quality Anna Maria Island movie theaters nearby along with frequent film events and things to do such as the Sarasota Film Festival among others throughout the year in nearby Sarasota and Bradenton.

An often-used island filming location

Anna Maria Island is known for its lack of high-rise buildings and unspoiled ocean views. It has become an ideal filming location with its splendid sunsets, quality white quartz sand, and calm ocean waves. Many major movies have had portions filmed on the island or in the waters around it including the following and others:

On An Island With You – This historical romantic comedy was filmed on Anna Maria Island in 1948 and featured legend Esther Williams in the lead role along with Jimmy Durante. The film’s plot centers on a romantic triangle at a military base in Hawaii, with Anna Maria Island working as a perfect substitute for Hawaii.

The Perfect Storm – This 2000 film stars Mark Wahlberg and George Clooney and tells the tale of a commercial fishing vessel that was lost at sea in the Perfect Storm of 1991. The calm waters off Anna Maria Island were used to film the scenes that showcased the calm before the storm.

Plenty of high quality movie theaters to choose from

The Ruskin Drive-In Any movie buff will certainly want to make the 40-minute trip north to nearby Ruskin Florida to enjoy an American cultural tradition at the Ruskin Drive-In movie theater. This drive-in theater is one of the most popular attractions in the area with its low prices on concessions movie tickets and for being such a unique and unforgettable experience. As one of the last 50s drive-in movie theaters in the nation, you’ll find vintage signs and buildings and plenty of positive vibes and nostalgia here.

Regal Cinemas Oakmont 8 – If you would rather stay closer to the island for the traditional moviegoing experience, the Regal Cinemas Oakmont 8 is conveniently located at 4801 Cortez Rd W., just a short drive from the Bradenton Beach area, and shows all of the latest releases along with very comfortable plush reclining seating.

Enjoy the Annual Sarasota Film Festival among other events

The Annual Sarasota Film Festival is held in early April each year over the course of several days during which a wide range of world-class independent films produced by some of the leading creative minds are screened. This film festival is routinely rated among the top 10 or 20 in the entire United States and showcases movies from all over the world including several local films.

Of course, this isn’t the only film festival in the region, and other options include the Skyway Film Festival in Bradenton and frequent film-related events held throughout the year by the Sarasota Film Society.