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40th Anniversary documentary release party and premiere
Old Town Theatre
San Diego, CA
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40th Anniversary documentary release party and premiere
Save Our Heritage Organisation, California's oldest continually operating historic preservation group, marks its 40th anniversary with the release of a compelling documentary by Dan Soderberg chronicling its influential history from 1969 through 2009.

The release party and premiere begins with a wine and cheese reception, and includes a presentation copy of the DVD.

The 65-minute documentary features Robert Miles Parker, an artist and art teacher who inadvertently founded SOHO when he hung a sign soliciting help in saving the 1887 Victorian Sherman-Gilbert House. Parker is portrayed as a charismatic leader who foresaw the irreparable damage that indiscriminate redevelopment was wreaking on the historic neighborhoods of San Diego.

"San Diego was hell-bent on destruction," says Parker, who now lives in New York City.

The documentary tells of SOHO's pivotal role in saving architectural icons such as the Santa Fe Depot, Hotel del Coronado, Horton Plaza Park and fountain, Balboa Theatre and Villa Montezuma. It doesn't shy away from some devastating losses -- the Klauber House that faced Balboa Park, the Green Dragon Colony in La Jolla, and the T.M. Cobb warehouses in the Gaslamp Quarter -- and the lessons the preservation community learned from their demolition.

Bruce Coons, Executive Director since 2001, describes the landmark agreement SOHO and the National Trust for Historic Preservation struck with the City of San Diego and private developers of Petco Park to integrate a 1909 brick warehouse into the new ballpark and preserve 10 others in a nine-block area in San Diego's East Village.

"SOHO has made preservation mainstream," says former president and longtime member David Marshall. In addition to advocacy work, SOHO manages and operates eight historic buildings including three diverse historic museums: the Marston House & Gardens, the Whaley House & Gardens, and the Adobe Chapel.

In conclusion, Coons hails historic preservation as a means to protect American freedom and culture: "These buildings sit there and teach every day."

Soderberg, a UCLA-trained filmmaker based in San Diego, spent nearly a year interviewing SOHO members and staff for the documentary. He also researched the group's four decades of achievements through archives, libraries and hundreds of photographs. A member of SOHO's board of directors since 2008, Soderberg also narrates the documentary and selected its period music.

Discussion

Location

Old Town Theatre
4040 Twiggs Street
San Diego, CA 92110
United States


Categories

Film

Kid Friendly: No
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: No
Wheelchair Accessible: No

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