‘Jaws’ 50th bash pitched for Aquinnah

The great-grandson of a Universal Pictures founder wants to bring the Boston Pops and John Williams.

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From "Jaws": Richard Dreyfuss spots the shark.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the release of the film “Jaws,” a great-grandson of a Universal Pictures co-founder has asked Aquinnah to host a 10-day event in June 2025.

Mike Cochrane, the event planner, a descendant of Universal founder Robert Cochrane, detailed potential elements in a letter to Aquinnah reviewed at a select board meeting Wednesday. 

The event would run from June 15 to 25 at the Len Butler Memorial Park by the Gay Head Light, and at the Vanderhoop Homestead site.

According to town administrator Jeffrey Madison, Cochrane also plans to temporarily re-erect an “Amity Island Welcomes You” billboard at the Aquinnah Circle, as seen in the film.

For the celebration, Cochrane is working to secure the Boston Pops Orchestra, “Jaws” score composer and conductor John Williams, and actor Richard Dreyfuss, who played oceanographer Matt Hooper in the film. 

“I am in the process of retaining the Boston Pops with John Williams in residency, to perform there … I may also be able to get Richard Dreyfuss … to the Island for a few days for this event,” Cochrane wrote.

While officials voiced interest in the event, Madison felt that Aquinnah needed more information before it could commit. Madison and the board agreed that he should ask Cochrane to appear and present further details. 

“I don’t, personally, believe that he has provided adequate description, in depth enough, to approve this as he has submitted. He has talked about a fee, but we haven’t come to an agreement on that,” Madison said.

Madison added that Aquinnah would need to consider the attention the event might attract. “[Cochrane] doing the concert at the Cliffs, with the Boston Pops, would attract a tremendous number of people [from] both on- and off-Island,” Madison said. “And it would put demands on our police and the roads, not to mention the shops up there, and how we might integrate the continued use of the businesses up there.”

As written in the letter, Cochrane would like to set up a VIP section at the Homestead site, where scheduled events would be held during the 10 days. “We are looking at utilizing the Homestead property as the use for the VIP section where people pay additional to access this property for scheduled nights during the 10-day access,” it reads. “We would look to set up additional tents and caterers to be able to allow additional guests.”

To break down the temporary setup on June 26, Cochrane wrote, he would like the town to provide options of local companies to employ.

Cochrane would also like to include an event highlighting the work of his great-grandfather, which included hiring Boris Karloff to play Frankenstein’s monster.

“This has a great potential for being something very memorable for our community,” board chair Tom Murphy said on Wednesday. “It probably would behoove us to talk to an event planner who does these types of things on a large scale, so that we understand all the ramifications of the traffic and service and sanitation issues, and parking,” he added.

“It’s definitely different than anything we’ve seen before, or that has ever been requested,” Madison said of the event.

7 COMMENTS

  1. I would love to attend. We love the movie and the island. I also agree that this sort of celebration should be down island– where their is lodging, among other points of relief.

  2. Hey Lippy,
    It’s a celebration for Christ sakes. You can go down island for 10 days (?), or be pleasant and enjoy the festivities, meet some new friends, and possibly crack your face with a smile 😉

  3. This would bring a lot of money to this community, yes, it would have its headaches but with the proper planning, and having plenty of time to plan it, then definitely have it. For the most part the crowd is going to be an older crowd meaning you’re going to have an overall good group of people that will respect the community, it’s not going to be a younger crowd looking to party heavy resulting in disturbing the peace, disorderly conduct, alcohol induced violence such as fighting, assaults, sexual assaults, etc… it’s going to be a much nicer crowd of people, I hope it happens because its something I would try to attend, thank you, good luck, best wishes to the people that are trying to make this happen 😀

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