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Posts tagged “lost parks

New Lost Parks Episode on 1915 Pan Pacific Exposition in San Francisco!

It was our most challenging “Lost Parks” episode – ever. More locations that we’ve ever done before. More money spent than ever before – but it was all worth it.

Presenting the first episode of SEASON TWO of the “Lost Parks of Northern California” – the Pan Pacific Exposition (World’s Fair) of 1915:

Be sure to LIKE, COMMENT and SHARE the video with all your friends, family and favorite cable networks – who knows, we might someday take the show national – but we’ll need your help to do it!

 


“Lost Parks” filming in San Francisco Friday

“Giddy” doesn’t begin to describe the thrill we get when we’re chasing down our local history. It’s more like “ecstatic.”

We’ve been given the rare opportunity to see a piece of San Francisco history – buried and forgotten for decades – so why exactly are we hunting down a 40 ton pipe organ? (And how do you bury something that big in a city that’s only 49 sq. miles?) After all, this isn’t “Lost Churches of Northern California,” right?

Austin Opus 500, San Francisco

Behind the row of visible facade pipes, lies 39 tons of additional musical instrument!

Well, you’ll just have to follow us on social media for live updates throughout the day today and stay tuned for the debut of our second season, with the 1915 Pan Pacific episode debuting around Memorial Day!

Huell Howser would be proud – and jealous.


New Lost Parks Trailer for 1915 Pan Pacific Exposition

Yes, it’s been awhile since our last episode of “Lost Parks of Northern California” but I can assure you – the wait is worth it.

Presenting the first teaser trailer for our next episode, the 1915 San Francisco Pan Pacific Exposition (World’s Fair). We expect to wrap on the episode and debut it before #CoasterCon this summer.

If you’re a fan of amusement parks, roller coasters, history, organs and trains  – you cannot afford to miss this episode!

Follow the journey by searching #LostParks on your favorite social media network!

 


Lost Parks of Northern California on Treasure Island for World’s Fair Celebration This Weekend

Looking for a park-related activity this weekend? Why not join the “Lost Parks” crew on Treasure Island, for the 75th anniversary of the opening of the 1939 World’s Fair!

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The event is being held in Building One on Treasure Island, the same building that doubled as the terminal to the Berlin Airport in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Learn more about the event, here.

It’s also FREE to attend, unless you live on the east side of the bay – you’ll have to pay the Bay Bridge toll – but only use half of the bridge! Sorry about that…


Lost Parks Update for February

Many apologies for the lack of updates on the site as of late – we’ve been working several different major projects that have required a bit more of my time and attention. That being said – they’re going to be EARTH SHAKERS when we can release more information on them, so stay tuned!

As for the “Lost Parks of Northern California” – if you follow us on social media, you know we’re already hard at work on principal videography on the next episode – this time, focusing on parks designed to be lost from the beginning – the 1915 and 1939 World’s Fairs of San Francisco.

As you can imagine – there’s a TON of work and locations involved; coupled with our skeleton “staff” of volunteers, it’s going to take a bit longer than other episodes to produce – but if you’re fans of our work on previous episodes, you already know that the wait will be well worth it.

Be sure to follow the journey by searching / using the #lostparks hashtag on your favorite social media account!

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Lost Parks Featured in the Santa Cruz Sentinel

Santa’s Village continues to bring in the press coverage! Today, we’re featured in the Sunday Santa Cruz Sentinel!

Santa Cruz Sentinel

Not exactly sure WHEN I changed my last name to Rowland, however…

For those of you who don’t get the paper, you can read the article online, here:

http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/santacruz/ci_24808829/web-episode-series-highlights-scotts-valley-santas-village


KION Central Coast News Features “Lost Parks of Northern California”

Not even a day after our story aired on KSBW – leading off the newscast, no less – KION Central Coast News got in on the “Lost Parks” action, with their own report!

KION Screenshot

Special thanks to reporter Cassandra Arsenault for coming out and recording us! (And for nerding out briefly on Boston area amusement parks, too!)

On a side note – what is it about Boston area-born reporters and the Bay Area? That’s two now!

Second side note – we’re filmmakers – someone reported it – so it’s official!!!

Jump to the story by clicking the link, below:

http://www.kionrightnow.com/news/local-news/filmmakers-look-to-preserve-santas-village-through-documentary/-/23047192/23650682/-/14uwndb/-/index.html


Lost Parks Featured on KSBW Action News!

Chalk another news outlet onto the list that’s discovered the charm and passion of the “Lost Parks of Northern California” series…KSBW Central Coast News led their newscast with a story on our project!

KSBW Screenshot

Check out the the video, by clicking the link, here:

http://www.ksbw.com/news/central-california/santa-cruz/Documentary-focuses-on-Santa-s-Village-on-Central-Coast/-/5738976/23650724/-/v6cvlh/-/index.html


Musée Mécanique: A True Historical Gem of San Francisco History

Photo by Kris Rowberry

Found a great article today on one of my favorite San Francisco institutions, the decidedly retro “Musée Mécanique” at Fisherman’s Wharf.

Laffing Sal at the Musee Mechanique, San Francisco.

Originally located in the basement of the Cliff House and before then at Playland-at-the-Beach, this eclectic collection of antique mechanical instruments, games and displays (some well over 100 years old) is by far the best way to spend your afternoon at the wharf, especially if the cruises to Alcatraz are sold out or crazy packed.

Check out the article here, from SF Weekly:

http://blogs.sfweekly.com/exhibitionist/2013/11/tourism_for_locals_musee_mecan.php


Lost Parks featured in the Huffington Post!

Kris Rowberry, Roller Coaster Expert

Add another media outlet to the list of organizations that have discovered the charm of the “Lost Parks” project – today, we’re featured in The Huffington Post!

Huffington

Read the article, here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/16/lost-parks-of-northern-california_n_4456181.html

2013 has been an amazing year for coverage – I cannot wait to see what 2014 has in store for us!


Busy Week for Lost Parks of Northern California

Despite the fact that we weren’t nominated for Creative Awards from CreaTV late last week, we haven’t let it get us down. In fact, we’ve had more media than ever contact us about the “Lost Parks” series!

Just this week, we’ve been in contact / interviewed with :

The Santa Cruz Sentinel

The San Jose Mercury News

KION Central Coast News

Oh, did we mention we’re still trying to finish the Santa’s Village episode, too? : )

Stay tuned everyone, we’re not the fastest growing amusement / theme park website on the web for nothing!


Featured in the San Jose Mercury News!

Big thanks to Mike Cassidy, who wrote a wonderful column (in the business section, no less!) about how we use technology to save parks that have been lost to the sands of time!

Mercury News Cassidy

Read the full article, here:

http://www.mercurynews.com/mike-cassidy/ci_24718952/cassidy-kris-rowberry-saves-santas-village-other-lost


Former Santa’s Village Theme Park Site A Tempting Location for Silicon Valley?

It’s been tried before, but will this be the project that finally replaces the empty space left by the Santa’s Village site in Scotts Valley?

You can read the whole article from our friend Nate Donato Weinstein in the Silicon Valley Business Journal, here:

http://www.bizjournals.com/sanjose/news/2013/11/23/new-owner-of-borland-campus-to-seek.html


Lost Parks of Northern California – Santa’s Village Preview

Have you been naughty, or nice so far this holiday season? Either way – we’re happy to release a preview to our Santa’s Village episode of the Lost Parks of Northern California!

Find out how eating at McDonald’s may connect you to the park – in addition to the many pieces of Santa’s Village strewn throughout Northern California!

Stay tuned here to Great American Thrills for the latest updates, including a release date!


Taking our Lumps

I suppose it was inevitable – the “Lost Parks” and Great American Thrills train (so to speak) was doing so well for such a long time – eventually we’d have to stumble or run into some adversity.

Unfortunately, that adversity came in the form of a Facebook message at 12:53am on early Friday morning.

As some of you know, we air sporadically on CreaTV in San Jose and Campbell. We had entered our Manteca Watersides episode into three categories for consideration in their CreaTiVe Awards – a massive gala held at the California Theatre every January.

Sadly, the episode (the best in the series thus far) did not qualify as a finalist in any of the three categories it was entered into. (Creative Excellence – Editor, Creative Excellence – Producer, Non-Profit – 2-30 mins.)

To say it’s a blow to the ego would be an understatement – but, if I’m looking on the flip side, it says a ton about the state of local producers and their content that something as detailed and time consuming as our project was – was simply not enough.

We move onward – to the Santa’s Village episode, and then into a bright 2014 full of optimism, hope and, “who knows.”


Help Support Lost Parks of Northern California

Phone Cover Display

Not sure what to give your loved one for Christmas this year?

Want to get that amusement park fanatic in your family the gift that says, “I understand how much you love parks!”

Looking to support a worthy cause in the process?

Then do we have the gift for you!

We’ve created several different cell phone back cover designs – all with our local lost parks in mind. From the shores of San Mateo, to the wintry scenes of Santa’s Village – you can be stylin’ and profilin’ with the most unique phone case out there.

  The cases are good for regular duty, bumps and scrapes, and they currently are made for:

-iPhone 4/4s

-iPhone 5/5s

– Samsung Galaxy S3

– Samsung Galaxy s4

We’re offering these functional collectables for the introductory price of $20, plus shipping.You can’t find an awesome case for cheaper than that!

Plus, 100% of all proceeds from the sales of these covers goes directly to deferring the cost of the Lost Parks series.

As some of you know, we don’t make money off the series, but it still does cost money to produce. From gas to food, photo rights and tolls, it adds up quickly.

If you’re interested in purchasing or picking one up, please e-mail: kris@greatamericanthrills.net with your requests. We are currently working on a storefront, but are not quite ready to debut it just yet.

We take all forms of payment, including PayPal, credit cards and cash / check.

So, preserve the past by preserving your phone – get your official Lost Parks phone cover today!


Architect Envisioned Massive Coasters for Golden Gate, Bay Bridge

Golden Gate Bridge Roller Coaster

From the people who brought you the massive Hangar One at Moffett Field, The Empire State Building and Hoover Dam, comes arguably the grandest, most scenic (and most insane) roller coaster idea of ALL TIME!

Golden Gate Bridge Roller Coaster

The proposed “Bridge Coasters” would not only break current coaster records – they would obliterate them – 75 years before the records were even set! Photo from the California State Archive

The stats for this proposed duo of coasters are simply staggering. 1,000 feet tall – 750 foot drops – a 190 mph top speed. Even by today’s standards, these two coasters would have easily kept their records for height and speed.

By comparison, the Transamerica Pyramid – which was built in 1972 and is the tallest building in San Francisco – is 850 feet tall.

The tallest roller coaster in the world currently is Kingda Ka at Six Flags Great Adventure. It tops out at a measly 456 feet high. Formula Rossa in the UAE is the fastest in the world, at a yawn inducing 149 mph. Heck, even the “bunny hills” on these coasters were proposed to do 40 mph over them…at 1,000 feet in the air!

Photo copyright 2007, Kris Rowberry. All rights reserved

Double the height of Kingda Ka, and it still wouldn’t be as tall as the proposed “Golden Gate Thunderbolt” roller coaster!

Where do I line up?

The folks in the Depression sure thought bigger than we do today, and it’s understandable. It was a dark time for America – and people needed something – anything – in order to lift their spirits. What better way than to build something that was (and may never be) seen by human eyes?

I’m not exactly sure how they would have propelled the ride at such speeds, or how to get it up there to begin with – I know for a fact that Cal OSHA would laugh the proposal right out the door in today’s litigious world…not to mention it’s pretty clear the physics of a ride with that much wind resistance would never be able to complete its circuit!

Ironically, two identical roller coasters WERE built at each of the 1939 Expositions in New York and San Francisco. After the fair ended in New York, the ride was eventually moved…to Riverside Park in Massachusetts, eventually becoming Six Flags New England – where it still runs today as – you guessed it – “Thunderbolt,” the same name proposed for the rides on the bridges.

Thunderbolt at the 1939 SF Exposition

This exact coaster layout, which ran at both 1939 Expositions in New York and San Francisco still runs at Six Flags New England, as “Thunderbolt,” an ACE Coaster Classic. (Shot from SF Exposition)

Photo by Kris Rowberry, all rights reserved.

Thunderbolt at Six Flags New England. Photo by Kris Rowberry, all rights reserved.

And yes, you can expect this and many other amazing nuggets of coaster knowledge and “what if” history to appear in an upcoming episode of the “Lost Parks of Northern California” series!

Read the whole article, from KPIX-5 in San Francisco, here, or just copy and paste the link below:

http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2013/11/22/designer-once-envisioned-massive-coasters-on-golden-gate-bay-bridges/


“Lost Parks” – Preserving History One Park at a Time

Part of the fun of doing the “Lost Parks” series, is knowing that we’re preserving history on film. That being said, we certainly didn’t think we were *THIS* close to losing one of our recent shoot locations:

http://www.scottsvalley.org/downloads/council/2013/11-20-13.Agenda.pdf

According to the latest Scotts Valley City Council meeting, the permit for building houses on the former Santa’s Village site has been changed – to add a demolition permit for the Polo barn (the last piece of the park still standing). 

The Polo Barn also holds an incredible secret – we won’t give it away – but you should definitely check out our Santa’s Village episode when it debuts next month!

The Polo Barn, which dates back to the 1930's - and is the last piece of Santa's Village still standing - is now scheduled for demolition as soon as possible, according to the latest City Council minutes. Photo by ACE NorCal - used with permission.

The Polo Barn, which dates back to the 1930’s – and is the last piece of Santa’s Village still standing – is now scheduled for demolition as soon as possible, according to the latest Scotts Valley City Council minutes. Photo by ACE NorCal – used with permission.

Apparently, they’re okay with demolishing a historic (albeit in rough shape) landmark in the process. Alternative plans include razing the building and building a replica, or having Lennar Homes (the developer) pay a one lump sum to the city in the amount of $1 million to allow to, “demolish and forget it.”

Thankfully, the Santa’s Village episode was able to capture this soon-to-be-gone structure – so it will be preserved foreever, despite the roar of the bulldozers.


Documenting the Lost Parks of Northern California on NBC Bay Area

For those of you who missed the story that Garvin Thomas of NBC Bay Area, did of us, they’ve just posted the link (and article) online. We’ll try to embed the video here shortly, but until then…

You can find the article here, or copy/paste the link below:

http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Documenting-The-Lost-Parks-Of-Northern-California-232016161.html

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“Lost Parks” Goes Vertical!

With every video we’ve produced so far in the “Lost Parks” series, we’ve aimed to add one piece of equipment to make them better than the previous episode. For instance, in the first three episodes, did you notice:

Pacific City – DLSR camera slider:

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The “nostalgic” intro shots, all done via the slider.

Luna Park – GoPro Hero 2:

Even though we measured, this trolley came way too close to being crushed!

Even though we measured, this trolley came way too close to crushing this camera!

Manteca Waterslides – Camera crane / jib:

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We won this in a Facebook contest – seriously!

And now, for our Santa’s Village episode, may we debut our latest addition…FLYING CAMERA DRONES!

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Andy’s “Little Bird” flying camera drone. Photo by ACE NorCal, used with permission.

Aptly named "Big Bird" who did most of the heavy lifting for the shoot. Photo by ACE NorCal, used with permission.

Aptly named “Big Bird” who did most of the heavy lifting for the shoot. Photo by ACE NorCal, used with permission.

Well, two to be precise, “Little Bird” and “Big Bird.” They’re proudly owned by Andrew Hansis, an ACE NorCal member, who couldn’t resist seeing what they could do for the Lost Parks series.

Turns out, it was a TON! Look for their shots in our latest episode – debuting December 9th, 2013!

For more info on the “Lost Parks” series – click here!


Thanks for the Follow, Destination America!

It’s always great to receive new followers on social media – but some, such as the one I received last evening, are very special!

Destination America follows Great American Thrills

Thanks for the follow, Destination America – glad to have you along for the ride! This tweet brought to you by Verizon Wireless 4G LTE…

Destination America is a partner channel with Discovery Communications, and would be a WONDERFUL place to have Great American Thrills show just how amazing our amusement parks are – (wink wink, nod nod) after all…we invented them!

I look forward to sharing my passion of amusement and theme parks with you, Destination America – in addition to my extensive knowledge of Talkeetna, AK ; ) Have you ever tried their pancakes?

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San Mateo County History Museum Presentation a Success

For everyone who attended my “Lost Parks” history presentation at the San Mateo County History Museum last weekend – an immense THANK YOU is in order!

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Over 60 of you attended the event (which was a VERY large crowd for these sorts of events, according to the museum staff). And the feedback we received was universally positive. If you’ve never been to this museum – the building itself is a piece of art, in addition to all of the exhibits!

If you missed the event – don’t despair – we’re already working on a video of the presentation, so you can attend “virtually.”

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Remember, you can always help support Great American Thrills™ by liking and sharing our updates with your favorite cable channels social media pages – or just tell your friends about the work we’re doing!


San Mateo County History Museum Presentation Tomorrow

Don’t forget!

Tomorrow afternoon is my “Lost Parks” presentation at the San Mateo County Museum.

The presentation starts promptly at 1:00pm – don’t be late!

Learn more here: http://www.historysmc.org/main.php?page=docket

photo


“Lost Parks” featured in the San Francisco Examiner!

No, it’s not a broken record you’re hearing – I really am featured in / on a major news outlet for the second time this week!

This time, it’s the San Francisco Examiner, who were very kind to promote my “Lost Parks” presentation at the San Mateo County History Museum.

For the full article, pick up a copy of today's Examiner, or click the link below.

For the full article, pick up a copy of today’s Examiner, or click the link below.

Let’s hope to keep this remarkable streak alive and continue to build awareness for the brand – feel free to share Great American Thrills with all your friends, family and favorite television stations / networks!

Read the article here:

Or copy / paste this link:

http://www.sfexaminer.com/sanfrancisco/thrill-seeker-revels-in-amusement-park-history/Content?oid=2610741