ST. PETERSBURG — The pool at 1446 Park St. N couldn’t make Wilford Brimley look any younger.
But in director Ron Howard’s 1985 Academy Award-winning movie “Cocoon,” that St. Petersburg pool was able to help Brimley’s character and other senior citizens feel younger after aliens turned it into a fountain of youth.
According to realtor.com, the “Mediterranean Revival manor was built in 1924 and is on the National Register of Historic Places. Architect Henry H. Dupont designed the home around the same time he designed the historic (and also pink) Don CeSar Hotel on nearby St. Pete Beach.” The residence is known as the “Casa de Muchas Flores,” which means the “house of many flowers.”
But movie buffs might be most drawn to the detached pool house made famous in “Cocoon.”
Also starring Don Ameche, Brian Dennehy, Steve Guttenberg and Jessica Tandy, “Cocoon” is about aliens left on Earth in cocoons at the bottom of the ocean. Their fellow aliens return to retrieve the cocoons and seek to regenerate them in a pool charged with a life force. Unknown to the aliens is that senior citizens from the neighboring retirement community in the fictional town of Sunset Beach often sneak into that pool. The seniors are rejuvenated with youthful energy, befriend the aliens and agree to help their quest.
The home is currently owned by Chester and Doris Babat, according to the Pinellas County Property Appraiser’s website. They purchased it in 1982 for $500,000.
The pool house did not exist at the time of filming. Production built a temporary structure over the outdoor pool. The Babats later erected the pool house based on the movie design.
Other St. Petersburg locations featured in the movie include the former Woolworth’s at the old Northeast Shopping Center, Pinellas Lanes bowling center, the St. Petersburg Shuffleboard Club and sidewalks outside the Snell Arcade.