"I still remember the smell of the water, the texture of the sand and my fear of jellyfish," she said.
"There were no jobs for women back then," Collier said. "So when my grandmother's brother started his insurance company, he hired all his sisters. He did right well, and the business was a real family affair."
It was a time when everything was black or white, she said.
"Baltimore was completely segregated," said Collier. "Stores, schools, beaches, even water fountains. We have to remember those times, all the way back to slavery. We are not still there, but those times made us who we are."
About 60 people attended the showing, which was taped, and shared their recollections. Tommy Mosely, 86, started his singing career at the beach and later became the lead singer of the Ink Spots. Loretta Williams brought a photo of her now 96-year-old stepmother posing with Dizzy Gillespie at the beach.
Erla McKinnon, 92, thanked the organizers "for bringing us together with our history,"
McMillan said the film helps him focus on the positive and the good times the beach afforded. When he was a child in the 1950s, his parents thought he was too young for the shows, but he could hear the music.
"Before integration, everybody came there to perform," he said, listing well-knowns like Fats Domino, Otis Redding andSmokey Robinson.
Crowds swelled into the hundreds for Sunday afternoon music fests that drew people from Baltimore, Philadelphia, Washington and even New York, he said. He recalled a towering security guard who kept order with one promise to anyone who misbehaved.
"He would tell us, 'I will beat you so badly that you won't see over a dime,' and everybody believed him," McMillan said. "Even that is funny now. The beach was just the place to have fun."
As the film rolled, Saunders asked the audience to help determine the exact year using the cars in the background. Men called out, "'47 Ford!" and "'49 Chevy!"
"So we are still in the '40's?" he asked.
A chorus of voices replied that it was likely later than that, reminding their host: "We drove used cars!"