Sunday, January 17, 2010

Aviation history fans in SFO: Mark your calendar for Feb 4

A press release:

WHAT: The San Francisco Premiere of “The Legend of Pancho Barnes and the Happy Bottom Riding Club”

WHEN: Thursday, February 4, 2010 at 6:00pm

WHERE: SFO’s Aviation Museum in the International Terminal Level 3, adjacent to the Boarding Area “A” entrance

ADMISSION: Free admission. Free parking with Airport garage ticket

WHO: Film producer and writer Nick Spark will be on hand

INFO: Call (650) 821-9911

BACKGROUND: “The Legend of Pancho Barnes and the Happy Bottom Riding Club” is a documentary by writer-producer Nick Spark and director Amanda Pope. Florence “Pancho” Barnes, immortalized in Tom Wolfe’s “The Right Stuff,” was one of the most important women in 20th century aviation. She was a record-setting pilot, and performed as a barnstormer throughout California, eventually becoming Hollywood’s first female stunt pilot in the 1920’s and 1930’s.

In the 1940’s, Pancho opened the “Happy Bottom Riding Club,” a ranch next to Edwards Air Force Base that became a famous hangout for test pilots and movie stars, and was the epicenter of the aviation world during the beginning of the jet age. Chuck Yeager celebrated breaking the sound barrier there in 1947, and Howard Hughes and Jimmy Doolittle were frequent bar guests. Little has been known about the charismatic and colorful Barnes, until now.

Movie Night at SFO is sponsored by SFO and the San Francisco Airport Museums.

About SFO SFO ( provides nonstop service to more than 65 US cities on 21 domestic airlines and to 32 international points on 27 international carriers. SFO offers twice as many non-stop flights to the New York area than all other Bay Area airports combined – making SFO the Bay Area’s Airport of Choice. SFO was voted “North America’s Best Airport” in 2008 by passengers for its outstanding customer service and amenities.

The library and museum is dedicated to commercial aviation and San Francisco International Airport's role as the 'Gateway to the Pacific' is in place in the new International Terminal. These collections are permanently housed in an 11,500 square foot facility modeled on the Passenger Waiting Room of the 1937 San Francisco Airport Administration Building. Its mission is to increase public awareness of the important achievements in air transport by preserving, interpreting, and sharing the history of commercial aviation. The San Francisco Airport Commission has expressed its belief that, 'in order to prepare for the future, we must preserve the past.'

1 comment:

Matthew Stibbe said...

It's a nice little museum too, if you're ever passing through SFO with half an hour to spare. It always surprises me that airports don't have aviation museums attached. Amsterdam Schiphol has some nice art exhibits and some smaller airports have good museums (Lelystad in Holland being the standout example) but SFO is the best. I was just there last week so it's very much on my mind! :) Matthew