40th Anniversary Documentary Film
Opened to a sold out standing room only house
By Dean Glass
SOHO has certainly accomplished much to be proud of in our first 40 years, and now these accomplishments have been chronicled in Save Our Heritage Organisation: Four Decades of Historic Preservation in San Diego County, a new, 65-minute documentary produced by SOHO and filmed and directed by Dan Soderberg. Soderberg, a UCLA-trained filmmaker and SOHO Board member, spent nearly a year interviewing SOHO members and staff; poring through archival films and hundreds of historic photographs from the archives of SOHO and the La Jolla Historical Society and SOHO members' collections; and compiling new footage and photographs to complete the documentary.
Narrated by Soderberg himself, the documentary begins with SOHO's founding in 1969 by Robert Miles Parker and the saving of the Sherman-Gilbert House. With production values that belie its shoestring budget, the documentary goes on to tell the story of SOHO's crucial role in saving architectural icons such as the Santa Fe Depot; the Hotel del Coronado; Horton Plaza Park and the Irving Gill Fountain; the Balboa Theatre; and the Villa Montezuma, and also some of its most devastating loses, such as the Klauber House; the Green Dragon Colony; and the T.M. Cobb warehouses in the Gaslamp Quarter and the lessons learned from them.
The DVD ends with a complete list of SOHO Board members and officers from the organization's 40-year history; unfortunately, there was not time to list the hundreds of other people who have been instrumental in making SOHO the success it is today.
When the film premiered to a packed house on March 29, 2010, at the Old Town Theatre, many viewers were quite moved, saddened by the loss of both many historic San Diego structures and friends and supporters of SOHO who are no longer with us, but ultimately encouraged by the shear number of SOHO's successes and the knowledge that SOHO is continuing to fight to save our historic resources. Award-winning architecture and historic preservation journalist Ann Jarmusch calls the production "An epic story teeming with true grit, tragedy and triumph!" While Ann, a longtime friend of SOHO, may be more than a little biased, you can see for yourself by getting your own copy at either of our museum shops, or call (619) 297-7511 to order by mail.
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