This Saturday marks the 40th anniversary of the opening weekend for Steven Spielberg’s “Jaws,” which became the first ever summer blockbuster movie back in 1975. Most people know the movie, which took place in the fictional seaside resort town of Amity, was actually filmed in Martha’s Vineyard, MA. However, not everyone knows about New Jersey’s ties to the movie.
Peter Benchley wrote the book, Jaws, in 1974 which was adapted to make the Spielberg movie a year later. The story was based on a real “man eating” shark that terrorized the Jersey Shore almost 100 years ago.
The series of shark attacks occurred along the Jersey coast between July 1 and July 12, 1916. The attacks happened in Beach Haven, Spring Lake and Matawan Creek near Keyport. Five people were bitten, only 1 survived. Local and national panic led to shark hunts aimed at finding and killing the “man eating” shark. Some beaches installed steel wire mesh fences in bathing areas at an attempt to keep the shark out of shallow water. Though the shark was never caught, most people believe it was a rogue great white or bull shark that eventually found its way out to deeper waters.
Before his death in 2006, Benchley stated that he felt partially responsible for making sharks such a feared animal and in the last decade of his career he wrote non-fiction books about the sea and sharks advocating their conservation.
If you’d like a chance to see “Jaws” on the big screen again, many AMC theaters nationwide are showing the movie this Sunday and Wednesday at 2pm and 7pm. Go to www.fathomevents.com for details and tickets.
Editor’s Note: On Thursday night, Fathom Events’ website was down for a little while. Just in case that happens again, we found showtimes on IMDB.com. Here’s a list of the theaters that we could find in New Jersey who are showing Jaws:
250 Bromley Blvd, Burlington NJ 08016 | (844) 462-7342 259
405 Route 3, Clifton NJ 07014 | (888) AMC-4FUN
145 Route 10 East, East Hanover NJ 07936 | (888) AMC-4FUN
339 River Road, Edgewater NJ 07020 | (800) 315-4000
325 Sloan Avenue, Hamilton NJ 08619 | (888) AMC-4FUN
2821 Highway 35, Hazlet NJ 07730 | (732) 888-1352
409-415 14th Street, Hoboken NJ 07030 | (201) 710-5581
4215 Black Horse Pike, Mays Landing NJ 08330 | (844) 462-7342 468
2399 US 1 South, North Brunswick NJ 08902 | (844) 462-7342 262
4000 Garden State Plaza, Paramus NJ 07652 | (888) AMC-4FUN
363 Mt. Hope Ave, Rockaway NJ 07866 | (888) AMC-4FUN
Lions Head Plaza, Somerdale NJ 08083 | (800) FANDANGO 1249#
1 SOPAC Way, South Orange NJ 07079 | (973) 761-0292
21 Sunset Strip, Succasunna NJ 07876 | (973) 584-8860
Seacourt Pavilion, Toms River NJ 08753 | (888) AMC-4FUN
900 Haddonfield-Berlin Road, Voorhees NJ 08043 | (856) 770-9065
67 Willowbrook Blvd., Wayne NJ 07470 | (888) AMC-4FUN
250 East Broad Street, Westfield NJ 07090 | (908) 232-1288
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