Wednesday, April 24, 2024

The Emmy™Award-Winning Documentary Film

"Broadcast" version now airing on most public television stations.

"Uncensored" version now on DVD and in film festivals.

Synopsis: A charismatic figure featured in Tom Wolfe's book The Right Stuff, Florence "Pancho" Barnes was one of the most important women in 20th Century aviation. A tough and fearless aviatrix, Pancho was a rival of Amelia Earhart's who made a name for herself as Hollywood's first female stunt pilot. Just before WWII she opened a ranch near Edwards Air Force Base that became a famous -- some would say notorious -- hangout for test pilots and movie stars. Known as the "Happy Bottom Riding Club", it became the epicenter of the aviation world during the early jet age. Chuck Yeager celebrated breaking the sound barrier there in 1947, and Howard Hughes and Jimmy Doolittle caroused in the bar. The Club's destruction by fire in 1953 is seen by many to mark the end of a Golden Era in post-WWII aviation. In the same fashion Pancho herself has become something of a legend, a fascinating yet enigmatic icon whose swagger is often celebrated, but whose story has been largely unknown. Until now.

A documentary film produced and written by Nick Spark and directed by Amanda Pope. Featuring interviews with test pilots Bob Cardenas, Bob Hoover and Chuck Yeager, astronaut Buzz Aldrin, and biographers Barbara Schultz and Lauren Kessler. Narrated by Tom Skerritt with Kathy Bates as the voice of Pancho Barnes.

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Women in Aviation
"Read Nick Spark's article about Pancho
from Women in Aviation magazine (.pdf)"
30 August 2009

Premiere Gets into High Gear !

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TicketNow that September is almost here, it's time to make some announcements concerning the premiere event at the Aero Theater on the 10th.  If you are among the "lucky few" who had "the right stuff" and managed to reserve tickets, read on!


Metered and free street parking is available on Montana Avenue and the cross streets surrounding the Aero. Please check posted signs. North of Montana parking is generally limited to two hours until  6 and sometimes 7 PM.  After that you can park for free North of Montana for the duration of the movie. There is plentiful street parking.

If you are handicapped or need assistance, there is a loading area immediately in front of the Aero Theater.  The theater has a number of areas reserved for wheelchairs, and our reception area is wheelchair accessible.


Several people have asked "Where are my tickets?"  so we want to remind everyone, tickets will not be sent to you by mail. If you purchased tickets through our website, you will need to check in prior to the screening at our Will Call area (see below).  You may be asked to present an I.D.


Now then, our event at the Aero officially begins at 7:30 p.m., but we're encouraging everyone to come early.  Montana Blvd. is a wonderful shopping and restaurant district and you can spend a lovely afternoon walking the street, browsing shops and having dinner.  Beginning at 6 p.m., we'll open the doors on a temporary "Happy Bottom Riding Club" of sorts.  Thanks to the Aero's landlords J.S. Rosenfield & Co., we've managed to secure the storefront next to the Aero for this reception.  Join us for drinks and h'or d'oeuvres, and talk to cast and crew.  You can also pick up your Will Call tickets, see our silent auction items, get a signed poster, and admire aviation-inspired artwork provided by our friends at Motoart.


There's still time to donate items for our silent auction.  We're seeking aviation memorabilia, books, gift certificates and apparel -- you name it!  Some of the neat things that have trickled in so far include a poster signed by Apollo astronaut Buzz Aldrin, DVDs signed by One Six Right director Brian Terwilliger, a vintage photo of Pancho signed by famed photographer Al Bresnik (courtesy Gabrielle Bresnik), and limited edition versions of our movie poster signed by aviation artist Joe Jones.


This event will present a wonderful and unique opportunity to interface with a lot of dynamic people in aviation and Hollywood.  If you have an interest in helping sponsor our screening, contact us using the form on this website.


Contact us using the form at the top of the page or click here.

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The Legend of Pancho Barnes and the Happy Bottom Riding Club ©2008-2010 Nick Spark Productions, LLC.