Where the Bands Played On

By Tom Caldecott

Rock Out at the Site of the 1939–1940 World’s Fair

When you step onto Treasure Island for the Oracle Appreciation Event on Wednesday, October 5, 2011, you'll follow in the footsteps of audiences who started visiting the island for entertainment some 72 years ago in 1939. The island was built for the Golden Gate International Exposition, also known as the San Francisco World's Fair, the theme of which was the "Pageant of the Pacific."

That pageant included entertainment by Jack Benny, Bing Crosby, Edgar Bergen and his Charley McCarthy, Tarzan legend Johnny Weissmuller, swimmer/entertainer Esther Williams, and the King of Swing, Benny Goodman. In less than a month, Benny Goodman played to more than 1 million people on the island. Visitors could also stop by "The Gayway," an amusement area with rides and shows such as the famous fan dancer Sally Rand and Sally Rand's Nude Ranch, Follies Bergère, and Robert Ripley's Believe It or Not.

The Pageant of the Pacific came and went, but some of its buildings remain, now converted into sound stages. During the Oracle Appreciation Event, the performers will play in and around the buildings used in the making of movies such as Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Robin Williams' Flubber and Bicentennial Man, as well as The Parent Trap, The Matrix, and Caine Mutiny.

Rock to the history. Rock to the music.

Comments:

The Mythbusters also have used Treasure Island, as well as the former Alameda Naval Air Station.

Posted by John Flack on September 22, 2011 at 05:03 AM PDT #

Wasn't Treasure Island also used by the Navy for a time?

Posted by Jason Keogh on September 22, 2011 at 06:14 AM PDT #

Yes, it was a US Navy base from 1941 to 1997 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Gate_International_Exposition

Posted by Oracle OpenWorld Blog Staff on September 22, 2011 at 07:24 AM PDT #

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