Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Clearwater Marine Aquarium reaps new features left over from filming 'Dolphin Tale'

CLEARWATER

Filming has wrapped at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, and Wednesday morning it reopened to the public.

The crews that have been shooting the movie Dolphin Tale have packed up their cameras. The movie's stars — Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd and Harry Connick Jr. — have left town.

Guests at the aquarium will see a few new features:

• An 80,000-gallon pool movie producers built for filming. It's the new home of Winter the dolphin, the aquarium's most famous resident and a star of the upcoming film.

• A funky, Old Florida-style houseboat that was also made for the movie, with a crow's nest on top. In the film, Connick's character lives on the boat. The public will be able to go aboard once handicapped-accessible ramps are built.

• Various props and sets from the film.

• Windows for underwater dolphin viewing in a hallway that's elaborately decorated to look like an undersea shipwreck.

The 58-day movie shoot went well, said aquarium CEO David Yates.

"Directors will tell you they don't want variables like kids, animals and water. We had kids and animals in water," he said Tuesday. "But all of the things that could have gone wrong did not."

Winter became famous when she lost her tail in a crab trap and scientists gave her a prosthetic tail. Dolphin Tale tweaks the true story of Winter's rehabilitation into a story of friendship between the dolphin and an introverted boy. It's being produced by Alcon Entertainment, which has done films such as Oscar winner The Blind Side.

Expect a big marketing campaign for the movie, which is tentatively scheduled for release next October. The aquarium expects attendance to go way up once the film comes out, creating a ripple effect for local tourism.

"This is not a small movie," Yates said as Winter swam in her pool behind him. "It's a major motion picture, a family movie, and Clearwater is a family tourism destination."

On Tuesday, construction crews were scrambling to finish their work before Wednesday's opening. Aquarium spokeswoman Krista Rosado said they were putting back the original metal railings around the dolphin pools, replacing rope railings used in the movie. "We're also putting the gift shop back together," she said, because the lobby was used to store movie cameras and buffets for the crew.

Soon the aquarium will begin a fundraising drive to pay for improvements to prepare for the coming crowds — starting with a new parking lot on vacant land just east of the building. Some visitors will see a newly rescued baby dolphin, in quarantine.

The expansion plans include a three-story parking garage, for which the aquarium will have to get permits. Said Yates, "We have to move very quickly to make more room for cars, people and animals."

Mike Brassfield can be reached at brassfield@sptimes.com or (727) 445-4160.

IF YOU GO

Clearwater Marine Aquarium

Where: 249 Windward Passage off the Clearwater Memorial Causeway

Hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday

Admission: $14.95 for adults, $9.95 for children, $10.95 for seniors

Information: (727) 441-1790 or seewinter.com

Clearwater Marine Aquarium reaps new features left over from filming 'Dolphin Tale' 12/14/10 [Last modified: Friday, December 17, 2010 11:57am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. In this Dec. 4, 2016, file photo, Tiger Woods watches his tee shot on the third hole during the final round at the Hero World Challenge golf tournament in Nassau, Bahamas. Woods has been arrested on a drunken driving charge in Palm Beach County , various media outlets are reporting. [AP photo]
  2. Tiger Woods arrested on DUI charge in Florida

    Public Safety

    Tiger Woods was arrested on a DUI charge Monday in Jupiter, according to the Palm Beach County sheriff's office.

    Tiger Woods has been arrested on a DUI charge in Florida.
  3. Boy, 9, hospitalized after shooting in St. Petersburg

    Crime

    ST. PETERSBURG — A 9-year-old boy was injured Monday morning in a shooting in the 2300 block of 17th Ave S, police said.

    A juvenile was injured in a shooting Monday morning in the 2300 block of 17th Ave S in St. Petersburg. (Zachary Sampson, Tampa Bay Times)
  4. Big rents and changing tastes drive dives off St. Pete's 600 block

    Music & Concerts

    ST. PETERSBURG — Kendra Marolf was behind the lobby bar of the State Theatre, pouring vodka sodas for a weeknight crowd packed tight for Bishop Briggs, the latest alternative artist to sell out her club.

    Sam Picciano, 25, left, of Tampa and Molly Cord 24, Palm Harbor shop for record albums for a friend at Daddy Kool Records located on the 600 block of Central Avenue in St. Petersburg, Florida on Saturday, May 20, 2017. OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times
  5. How Hollywood is giving its biggest stars digital facelifts

    Business

    LOS ANGELES — Johnny Depp is 53 years old but he doesn't look a day over 26 in the new "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie — at least for a few moments. There was no plastic surgeon involved, heavy makeup or archival footage used to take the actor back to his boyish "Cry Baby" face, however. It's all …

    This combination of photos released by Disney, shows the character Jack Sparrow at two stages of his life in "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales."  Johnny Depp, who portrays the character, is the latest mega-star to get the drastic de-aging treatment on screen
[Disney via Associated Press]