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FREE STATE OF GALVESTON

FREE STATE OF GALVESTON
By Joseph Deegan

GENRE: Crime, Drama
LOGLINE:

A true crime Texas drama series exposing the little known true story of the rise and fall of the Sicilian-born Maceo brothers, their celebrity entertainer friends: Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope, Howard Hughes, Peggy Lee, the wealthy Island families, high-roller Houston oilmen & gamblers, African American social justice activists, the KKK, and the attraction of the finest dinner clubs in America from the 1920s--1940s. The Maceos offered illegal liquor, high-stakes gambling, top-name entertainment and the finest cuisine all under one big roof -- decades before Las Vegas cashed in on the concept.

SYNOPSIS:

With regard to legal and moral restrictions of that era, notorious Galveston Island, in the Gulf of Mexico, was an “Open City.”

This is the little known true story of the rise and fall of the Sicilian-born Maceo brothers, their celebrity entertainer friends: Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope, Howard Hughes, Peggy Lee, the wealthy Island families, high-roller Houston oilmen & gamblers, African American social justice activists, the KKK, and the attraction of the finest dinner clubs in America from the 1920s--1940s. The Maceos offered illegal liquor, high-stakes gambling, top-name entertainment and the finest cuisine all under one big roof -- decades before Las Vegas cashed in on the concept.

After starting out as frustrated barbers, Rosario “Papa Rose” and Salvatore “Big Sam” Maceo took over the wealthy Island -- economically, politically, spiritually. Sam was silky smooth and more sophisticated; Rose was a killer -- mean, tough, and more ambitious. They were a pair of naturals: the Visionary and the Enforcer.

Their most famous club, the Balinese Room, was situated on a pier jutting out 600 feet on stilts over the surf. It was the most celebrated nightclub in America, known coast to coast as a first-class showplace; it was the jewel of the Gulf. ZZ Top even wrote a famous song about it called: “The Balinese.”

The Maceos’ extravagant financial success attracted everyone including Mob bosses like New York's Albert Anastasia, Chicago's Al Capone and Frank Nitti who tried to muscle in on the brothers’ rackets. Rose told them impolitely to get the fuck off his Island, and they left.

However, due to their fame, fortune and running openly illegal rackets they ended up on the radar of the Texas Rangers -- who wouldn’t fuck off -- and after sixty-four straight raids on the Balinese Room, they closed it down.

Finally, with the legalization of gambling in Nevada, Las Vegas finally caught up. And, with the inevitable western migration of America’s mobsters to an environment friendlier to their line of business, the writing was on the wall for Sam, Rose and the Island... how would they survive?

FREE STATE OF GALVESTON

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Nathaniel Baker

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