This Don Knotts movie was the first ever to be screened underwater

This premiere was o-fish-ally unique!

The 1964 live action/animation hybrid film, The Incredible Mr. Limpet is still fondly remembered by generations. One of the most well-known Don Knotts movies, Knotts' hapless fish enthusiast who gets to fight Nazis while transformed into a fish himself is an unlikely hero, but a beloved one.

Where to hold the press screening for such a unique movie? The studio heads at Warner Bros. came up with a unique idea, fitting to the movie's aquatic setting: they'd hold it underwater!

An Omaha World-Herald article explains that after watching a mermaid show at Weeki Wachee Springs in Spring Hill, Florida, the executives thought that it was the perfect venue for the press premiere of Limpet. And not just a screening at the venue; no, they wanted the movie in the water, just like the mermaids.

However, while the mermaids at the attraction were able to swim around effortlessly with the aid of oxygen tubes, putting a whole movie theater under the water wouldn't be so easy. "There were a few bugs," the World-Herald says. "The pure spring water, although it did not distort the screen image, did filter out certain colors and this movie had been filmed in glorious Technicolor. There were certain problems in anchoring a heavy screen under water so it wouldn't float away. And occasionally a live fish in the springs would stop to rest, or think, right in front of the screen during the movie."

However, in the end, they made movie magic happen, and guests from the press, radio, and TV sat down to watch the film in the auditorium sixteen feet below the surface of the water.

"Was it worth all the cost and fuss?" The World-Herald asks. "Yep."

The Weeki Wachee Springs State Park Facebook page posted a picture of the grand event, so you can see what it was like to be there at this submerged screening.

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11 Comments

Runeshaper 1 month ago
The Incredible Mr. Limpet was EXCELLENT! I never knew it was the first move screened under water! (-:
WordsmithWorks 1 month ago
"Limpet" and "The Ghost and Mr. Chicken." Great double feature. Throw in "The Shakiest Gun in the West" for a Don Knotts binge.
KevinButler 1 month ago
I loved this film..I remember first seeing it at The Castle Hill Movie Theater in the Bronx,NYC..back in the summer of 1964.I went to the theater with my mom..she didn't care for it..but..I loved it.
JHP 1 month ago
kinda remember the movie

dont remember who he yelled at tho
327053 1 month ago
Favorite Don Knotts movie 🍿 🎥😃
MrsPhilHarris 1 month ago
I loved this movie when I was a kid.
harlow1313 1 month ago
I enjoyed this as a child.

As an adult, I can no longer tolerate the lightness of killing in such a simple-minded film. The German sailors are reduced to dehumanized stereotypes. An adult film watcher must have standards.
seengodinyou harlow1313 1 month ago
I know. It's all so offensive, isn't it? Not to mention... the mermaids swimming at the premier all identified as women! They were fake killing fake German's and were not inclusive with the mermaids at all. Everyone knows that mermen are merwomen! I say we retroactively cancel this and stop all this mindless, non-inclusive, binary, 'techni-'color'' (Don't get me started on the racism of that one!), horrible garbage. Whose with me?!?!??!!! Next we go for 'The Shakiest Gun in the West'.... I have Grand Mal seizures and I think it's insensitive. P.S. : German's did recently kill a lot of us a very short time before the film was made... but, that's no excuse for anyone to even consider de-humanizing them. I am totally on your side. VIVA NAZI'S!
harlow1313 seengodinyou 1 month ago
I am inclined to speak my mind. I am un-offended by the film, but I must decry the cartoonish treatment of war.

I don't much connect with the projections in you comment. I am free.

"...Make everything from toy guns that spark
To flesh-colored Christs that glow in the dark
It's easy to see without lookin' too far
That not much is really sacred" - Bob Dylan

Kelly 1 month ago
The Incredible Mr. Limpet is one of many of my favorite movies!! I cannot remember the first time that I had seen it but, I love the way that it was designed and the outcome which I thoroughly enjoy!!
FrankensteinLover 1 month ago
Such a Wonderful Movie and even better when you throw Don Knotts in the Mix.
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