Western Neighborhoods Project is dedicated to the history of San Francisco's Richmond, Sunset, OMI and West of Twin Peaks districts.   read more ...

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Oct 12, 2023 6:30pm-9:00pm (Thursday) at Balboa Theater 3630 Balboa Street

Get ready to set sail for an epic evening of tales from the deep. Join Western Neighborhoods Project (WNP) at the Richmond District’s beloved Balboa Theater on Thursday, October 12 for an illustrated, lively conversation between two former National Park Service historians and longtime friends: Stephen Haller and John Martini, moderated by Executive Director Nicole Meldahl. Steve and John got their start locally at the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and have since gone on to esteemed careers; Steve is the co-author of the seminal book “Shipwrecks at the Golden Gate.”

The main program will run from 7:00-9:00pm and will include time for Q&A. Steve and John will share stories and photos of Ocean Beach and Lands End shipwrecks. Then we’ll screen a grab bag of actual shipwreck footage from our friends at the Prelinger Archives.

General Admission tickets are $40 and include access to the theater when the doors open at 6:30pm. VIP tickets are $70 and include:

Early access to the theater at 5:45pm to secure your favorite seats.

An exclusive meet-and-greet with our speakers until 6:30pm. This is a great opportunity to have your old (or new!) copy of “Shipwrecks at the Golden Gate” signed.

A complimentary beverage of your choice served in authentic Cliff House glassware, which VIP guests can take home with them.

Food and drink are available for purchase at the Balboa’s concession stand. WNP will also be selling merchandise in the lobby, including $35 hardcover copies of “Shipwrecks at the Golden Gate,” which is currently out of print. Quantities are limited!

Come on out to support WNP and this historic local theater for what promises to be a memorable evening. Please purchase tickets through Eventbrite.

Speaker Bios

Stephen A. Haller’s 42-year career with the National Park Service included tours as Park Historian and Chief of Cultural Resources at the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, and Curator of Historic Documents for the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park. He has also been an interpreter at a number of historic sites in the San Francisco Bay Area, including Alcatraz, Fort Point, and the Maritime Museum. His academic background is in 19th century American history and he has specialized in the study of shipwrecks, naval and military history. He is the author and co-author of several books and was editor of the Sea Letter, the journal of the National Maritime Museum Association. He has been the principal investigator for World War II oral history projects at the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial National Historic Site in Hawaii and at the War in the Pacific National Historic Site on Guam.

John A. Martini is a life-long researcher and storyteller of the history of California and the American West. He worked as a National Park Ranger for more than 25 years at parks around the country including the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, U.S.S. Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor, and Teddy Roosevelt’s country estate at Sagamore Hill in New York. John retired to pursue a career as a writer, historian, researcher, and lecturer. He is a renowned expert in San Francisco’s many military posts and the Lands End-Sutro Baths area. In addition to authoring several books, John offers historical research and technical writing services. He appears regularly on local television and radio broadcasts, as well as The History Channel, A&E Network, The Discovery Channel and PBS specials.

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