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Mythical Lake Champlain sea monster Champ to be idolized at Mayor's Cup

PLATTSBURGH — Be afraid...be very afraid because Champ’s cinematic cousin the Rhedosaurus is coming back to the big screen.

The first-ever Mayor’s Cup Movie Night will happen July 11 from 9:15 to 11 p.m. at the Newman Center.

“Thirty-seven years into their whole chronology, and they’ve never had an official movie night before, and so they recruited me for that because I’m basically the go-to guy for that,” said Andy MacDougall, former Press-Republican movie critic and film preservationist.

The event put on by MacDougall will show “The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms” in honor of the retired “Champ Day.”

“Champ Day” became a discontinued Port Henry annual event after 31 years of observing Lake Champlain’s oldest folklore, Champ.

"'Champ Day’ ended due to a lack of volunteers and participation,” Councilman Tim Garrison said. “It was sad to see it end, but it was not well attended.”

After the first of more than 300 documented encounters of Champ 405 years after Samuel de Champlain’s expedition, Champ was mostly seen in Port Henry’s Bulwagga Bay, a reason why “Champ Day,” created by chamber president Tim Bryant, came to be the first Saturday every August in Port Henry.

“It started out as something wonderful,” MacDougall said. “I guess I came along with this idea at the right time because the whole content needed to be reborn as something with a healthy respect.”

When MacDougall attended a press conference with the Mayor’s Cup Committee in March, he announced his plan of how to honor “Champ Day.” The committee liked his idea for two reasons: one, it was outside of the downtown Plattsburgh area, and two, it would tie into the annual regatta race.

Upon MacDougall’s collecting of old 16mm films, he came across a collection from a local senior citizen. Within that collection contained a small film of boating and beach-front footage from Coney Island, which will show after the main feature “The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms.”

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