Mayor’s Cup Movie Night again recognizes “Champ,” the blanket nickname for what many believe is a colony of saurian cryptids inhabiting Lake Champlain. I’ve selected this summer’s creatured attraction, the 1961 cult classic “Gorgo,” per my experience accompanying Champ Search founder Katy Elizabeth (pictured below) on safari one weekend in August 2016. I say safari because unlike the waterborne exploration dominating her Champ-searching endeavors, the (Button Bay, Vt.) expedition I tagged along on was entirely beachbound.
Based largely on eyewitness reports Katy Elizabeth has logged over the years, the world’s leading Champ expert believes these animals occasionally venture up on land, prompting her use of intriguing techniques seeking evidence of Champ on terra firma which I witnessed first-hand (the techniques, that is).
Per Katy Elizabeth’s theory, I’ve selected “Gorgo” not only because the titular prehistoric sea monster is a part-time landlubber but also due to the movie’s moral within our own regional context. And that is, if you ever happen to encounter what appears to be a baby Champ, for God’s sake leave it alone!
No further spoilers, other than to say I’m the proud owner of an original Technicolor (16mm) “Gorgo” that’s spoiling for public presentation. Well, here it comes.
“Gorgo” will screen at 7 pm on Friday, July 6th at The Newman Center, 90 Broad St. across from the SUNY Plattsburgh campus on classic reel-to-reel FILM. A surprise bonus feature will follow to conclude the evening’s program. This community-based event is free and open to all, with donations welcome.
P.S. – Sandra Mansi’s world-reknowned photograph of Champ (right) was taken from the Vermont side of Lake Champlain in 1977. Katy Elizabeth says that given the extended lifespans of fully documented large reptiles such as crocodiles and giant tortoises, the awesome specimen of Champ clearly evident in Mansi’s historic photo might still be thriving out there somewhere. Will the wonders of Champ never cease?
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