Pirate documentary preview in Marcus Hook, matey

Poster for documenary film "Treasure: The Story of Marcus Hook"
Poster for documenary film "Treasure: The Story of Marcus Hook"
Posted: March 23, 2013

Looking for something to do Friday night?

If you like Pirates, then this is for you.

A documentary, Treasure: The Story of Marcus Hook, will be holding a free special preview screening at 7 p.m. in the Marcus Hook Community Center.

The film chronicles the efforts of the Delaware County Borough of Marcus Hook to change it image - and future - by highlighting it's history. Pirate history to be exact.

Arrr Matey, What say ye?

The struggling Delaware River community of 2,400 residents, is sandwiched between two dying refineries. But to loyal residents it is home. And it was a home base for pirates.

"It's a beautiful little town," said Michael Manerchia, a councilman, who acts as the film's narrator.

Manerchia purchased an older home on Market Street close to the river. During renovations he accidentally smashed a wall in his living room and uncovered a second wall made of old wooden planks that drew the attention of area archaeologists.

Those planks were from an 18th century house torn down long ago and, according to local legend, belonged to Blackbeard's mistress.

Well blow me down!

The incident inspired Manerchia to organize a yearly Pirate Festival, complete with a group of reenactors called The Plankhouse Crew, food stands, games, live music and cruises on a historic sailboat.

"We have to diversify," said Manerchia about the town's local economy. "As we found out regrettably, things can change quick. We have to go in more than one direction other than oil."

Pirate reenactors came from as far away as New York and South Carolina, Manerchia said. There are sword fight demonstrations, beer making booths, skits and pirate music.

The festival has grown tremendously. Last year there were 4,000 guests for the one day event. This year's festival is scheduled for Sept. 21, Manerchia said.

The film reveals the true treasure of Marcus Hook, Manerchia said.

What is it?

"You have to watch the movie. I'm not going to tell you," Manerchia said.

The film's director Valerio Ciriaci, from Rome, and producer Isaak Liptzin will be on hand to answer questions.

The community center is located at 7 W. Delaware Ave., in Marcus Hook.

The project was financed by the online funding platform Kickstarter in an all-or-nothing venture. Organizers sent a goal for contributions. If the goal is reached, donor's credit cards are charged. If the fund-raiser is not successful, no one is charged.

Contact staff writer Mari A. Schaefer at 610-892-9149, mschaefer@phillynews.com or @MariSchaefer on Twitter.

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