His documentary double bill about two gone-but-not-forgotten San Francisco attractions, “Remembering Playland at the Beach” and “Sutro’s, the Palace at Land’s End,” have played to full houses and long lines at Santa Rosa’s Summerfield Cinemas.
That has happened not just once, but twice, earlier this year.
Both films return Sunday, March 4, to Summerfield: “Playland” at 1 p.m. and “Sutro’s” at 2:30 p.m., with a question-and-answer session with Wyrsch following both screenings.
These are the most popular two of the four films made over the past few years by Wyrsch, 60, a San Francisco native who has lived in Petaluma since he was 5 years old.
“I went to Playland as a young kid,” Wyrsch said.
The Playland amusement park at San Francisco’s Ocean Beach, where Cabrillo and Balboa streets are now, was famed for its Big Dipper roller coaster. The park was built in the late 19th century. It closed in 1972 and was torn down later that year, to make way for condominiums.
The luxurious Sutro Baths complex, near the Cliff House, also was built in the late 1900s. The building housing the baths burned down in 1966 and was abandoned. The ruins remain.
Since his films started screening around the greater Bay Area, Wyrsch has met many transplanted San Franciscans who have fond childhood memories, particularly of Playland.
“If you go back to the ‘20s through the ‘50s, people stayed in the area and engaged in things that were in the area,” Wyrsch said. “They didn’t fly down to Disneyland, which didn’t open until the ‘50s. People were thrilled to go to Playland.”
Wyrch’s other films are “Back to Space-Con, the Story of the 1970s Sci-Fi Conventions,” and “Watch Horror Films, Keep America Strong,” a tribute to the Bay Area TV show “Creature Features.”
Location: Summerfield Cinemas, 551 Summerfield Road, Santa Rosa.
Admission: $8; $7.25 for children and seniors.
Information: http://www.garfieldlaneproductions.com; http://summerfieldcinemas.com; (707) 539-6767.