There is no doubt that San Francisco is one of the most breathtakingly beautiful cities in the world. Its ever changing vistas and views are something you never get used to or take for granted. Its vibrancy and eclectic culture draws movie makers and theatrical producers from all over the world. Looking at the Sunday San Francisco Chronicle Datebook quickly shows you the numerous opportunities there are for entertainment.
This week I am entertaining an actor friend from London. This is his first visit to San Francisco and my husband and I want his visit to be memorable. We want him to see and taste the things that make San Francisco renowned. Frankly I haven’t done this “tour guide” thing for awhile and I feel a bit rusty. The funny thing is that a few weeks ago at a social event a couple of people were comparing notes on having just done a similar thing with out of town guests. One of them said, “Boy do I really miss The San Francisco Experience. Do you remember that show that used to be at Pier 39? I used to start all my visitors to the City there and then we’d decide what we wanted to see after that.” Well, this week I really miss The San Francisco Experience and I think it’s time to bring it back!
The San Francisco Experience was a multi-media production celebrating the sights and sounds of this great city, shuttling viewers back and forth in time while comparing the historical events of San Francisco with today. It was packed with special effects. Most memorably it recreated both the 1906 and 1989 earthquakes allowing the visitor to safely experience what it feels like to be in an earthquake. Audiences not only learned interesting facts about The City but were stimulated to go out and enjoy the things they had seen. The show ran for over 15 years in San Francisco, finally closing its run at Pier 39 a number of years ago. During its final years it was very successfully managed by my business partner, Craig Patterson and if truth be told, I was one of the producers.
The production company founded by Bing Crosby, David Sacks and Charles Patterson went on to produce other Experiences such as The Hawaii Experience, The Hollywood Experience, The New York Experience, The Taiwan Experience, and The Christmas Experience. All were critically acclaimed and all had very long runs.
So, I really do think it’s time to bring it back. With today’s technology I think it could be a visitor’s blockbuster.