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Flying A Studio a silent-age star in Santa Barbara County
Santa Barbara County is celebrating 100 years of filmmaking. Beginning in 1910, movies were shot at Flying A Studio, which occupied two full blocks along Mission Street in downtown Santa Barbara.
Most of the buildings are gone, but a piece of the former studio, at the corner of Mission and State Street, is now home to Garrett's Old Fashion Restaurant, (805) 567-0400. Photos from Flying A's heyday are on display.
The local visitors bureau offers a variety of information, including the Santa Barbara County Film Tour booklet, which is chock-full of movie lore and locations; 1601 Anacapa St., (805) 966-9222, www.santabarbaraca.com.
The Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes Center in Guadalupe shares the story of the filming of "The Ten Commandments" in its interesting museum. The Center also organizes nature hikes year-round; 1055 Guadalupe St. (Highway 1), (805) 343-2455, www.dunescenter.org.
Oso Flaco Lake, with its mile-long, handicapped-accessible bridge and boardwalk, are part of the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area. Farther north in the recreational area, people whiz across the sand in their off-road vehicles; (805) 773-7170, www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=1207).
John Perry encourages folks to drop by his NAPA Auto Parts Store at 959 Guadalupe St. (Highway 1) to view his collection of historical artifacts, including several from the making of Cecil B. DeMille's "The Ten Commandments."
Two directors of much more recent fame -- James Cameron ("Titanic" and "Avatar") and Kathryn Bigelow ("Point Break" and "The Hurt Locker") -- will be honored at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival ( www.sbiff.org). It begins Thursday.