Remember Creature Features on TV and the Space-Con Conventions in Oakland? Playland-at-the Beach and the Sutro Baths in San Francisco? Sonoma County filmmaker Tom Wyrsch does. In fact, Tom has gone so far as to preserve all of these legendary Bay Area icons with documentaries. A personal friend of both Creature Feature hosts Bob Wilkins and John Stanley, Wyrsch’s first documentary was Watch Horror Films, Keep American Strong: a Journey into Creature Features. Featuring interviews with Wilkins, Stanley and others associated with Creature Features, this documentary chronicles the show’s run from 1971-1984 at KTVU TV in Oakland and beyond. Back to Space-Con: the Story of the 1970’s Sci-Fi Conventions takes a look at some of the early Star Trek conventions (which were held in Oakland, San Francisco, and Los Angeles) and how these fan-based cons renewed Paramount’s interest in the ST franchise.
Wyrsch also did a documentary called Remembering Playland, a fond look at the history of San Francisco’s popular amusement park, Playland-at-the-Beach. All of these films played at the Balboa in San Francisco and in theaters around the Bay Area, and all were well received. All three are now available on DVD at November Fire: http://www.garfieldlaneproductions.com/Garfield_Lane.php. Just click on the DVD you are interested in, and it will take you to the November Fire site to order it.
Tom’s latest is not yet out on DVD: debuting November 4, 2011 at the Balboa Theatre is Sutro’s: the Palace at Land’s End. This is an 84-minute documentary covering the history of the Sutro Baths, interviews from people who remembered them, plus hundreds of photographs.
Thanks, Tom, for taking the time to preserve these Bay Area legends.