1993 — The front page of the Aug. 26, 1993, Pelican Press featured the headline “Downtown theater dazzles, delights.” To which theater was it referring? Burns Court Cinema, the new home of the Sarasota Film Society. As described in the archives: A bright Caribbean theme was used throughout the building, with the outside walls boasting a raspberry color paint and purple trim and purple awnings. Architect Frank Folsom Smith, the designer of the theater, said “a colorful statement was important,” because the theater was essentially a “functional box.” Public reaction to the theater was positive, and many downtown advocates at the time, including “Mr. Downtown” Paul Thorpe, were excited about the prospect of the theater attracting more business to the surrounding area. The movie “Much Ado About Nothing,” starring Michael Keaton, Keanu Reeves, Emma Thompson and Denzel Washington, was featured that week at Burns Court Theatre. — from the Aug. 26, 1993, Observer archives
1976 — Low-speed vehicles may be the hot topic on Siesta Key right now, but it isn’t the first time a low-speed mode of transportation has come into question. Motorized bicycles became the topic of conversation in 1976 on Siesta Key. The jury was out on whether the benefits outweighed the risks of allowing the motorized bikes to tool around the Key.
“They are limited by engine design to a maximum speed of 25 mph … Safety statistics indicate that incidence of accidents and automobiles are respectively six times higher and one-and-a-half times higher than motorized bicycles.”
Touting soaring transportation costs, low fuel consumption, rising gas prices, traffic jams, parking problems and inadequate public transportation, the paper posed the question, “Are motorized bicycles the wave of the future?” — from the Aug. 26, 1976, Observer archives