The results of a June poll recently released to the Jekyll Island Authority board of directors reflect an opinion that many residents of the Golden Isles have held or expressed for years. The amphitheater on the island should be restored and put back into service.
The open-air theater had its followers at the time. With a little creativity on the part of the Jekyll Island Authority and anyone else it can hire to help it think things through, the island scene can once again be a popular draw and a source of entertainment for people. guests and residents.
Of course, it will take work – a lot of work to make it for public use. The facility has been left to age without grace for decades. Neglect tends to have this effect. But authority has shown time and time again to this community and state that it can accomplish just about anything it envisions when the end result is good for everyone.
Potential uses could be daytime wildlife shows and an explanation of how each species featured fits into the island’s ecology scheme. Although people fear them, native species such as alligators and snakes fascinate the masses. And, of course, there are the turtles that nest along the sandy shores.
Jekyll Island is all about getting into nature. Why not use the outdoor stage for educational entertaining purposes?
It could be the setting for countless other daytime programs designed to arouse the interest and patronage of the thousands of families who visit the Golden Islands. It could all be part of the Jekyll Island experience.
One can also imagine performances of Gullah-Geechee groups on an island which is a point along the Gullah-Geechee corridor recognized by the federal government. Maybe even our local actors and actresses could, with the help of college and side talent, perform. There is no limit to the value of the amphitheater for Jekyll Island and the rest of the community.
The Jekyll Island Authority announced some time ago that it was studying the feasibility of reviving this once popular outdoor spot. Whatever the study says or reveals, the JIA’s board should remember this: Many of the 11,000 survey respondents agree that the facility has been dormant for too long.