The Friends of Boca Grande weekly movie series returned with a bang Saturday with a tripleheader of top high-definition movies shown on the new big screen: Academy Award Best Picture nominee "Toy Story 3," the record-breaking horse bio "Secretariat" and Leonardo DiCaprio's chiller "Shutter Island."
"It is our way of thanking everyone for their generous support in raising funds for our new state-of-the-art video and sound equipment," said Marta Howell, executive director of the Friends of Boca Grande.
The island movie series had gone dark when short-circuited by failing audio and projection equipment. A major contribution by the Boca Grande Woman's Club raised nearly half of the $44,000 needed to upgrade the entire Boca Grande Community Center audiovisual layout to today's standards. All previous auditorium equipment was more than 10 years old.
The Friends of Boca Grande Community Center replaced basic technological equipment in the auditorium and Woman's Club Room at the Boca Grande Community Center for roughly $18,000.
An $18,000 projector will bring Blu-ray and high definition to the auditorium big screen with $7,000 spent on a new surround sound processor, two new speakers and a new Blu-ray high definition VCR.
The Friends of Boca Grande also will spend $5,000 to double the number of speakers, boost amplification and add wireless mic capability in the Woman's Club Room.
Other island groups have been chipping in, too.
The Royal Palm Players donated $3,000 and the Boca Grande Camera Club is donating all proceeds from a Monday appearance by National Geographic photographer Dan Cox.
More than $15,000 has been donated by individuals. Howell said any additional funds raised over replacement costs will be put into a restricted sinking fund to be used only for replacing Community Center technology.
The Friends of Boca Grande show foreign films and documentaries on Tuesday, latest releases on Thursday and family films on Saturday. Regularly scheduled movies will resume at 1 p.m. March 12.