It was standing-room only for free popcorn, cider and a movie at the annual Harris-Lass Museum movie night Sept. 12. Each of the three viewings of the 30-minute documentary “Mountain View: Moving Forward, Looking into the Past” played to a full barn of 33, plus standees at the back of the 1867-era barn, where the film was shown.
The barn is part of the Harris-Lass House Museum preserve of restored buildings at 1889 Market Street. Built in 1865, the two-story Italianate house is Santa Clara’s last remaining large farmhouse. The complex also includes a tank-house-turned-gift-shop and freestanding summer kitchen, both open for browsing on movie night.
The documentary included footage of the dirigible Akron and the early days of Moffett Field, where NASA’s Ames Research Center will celebrate its 75th anniversary with an open house—the first in 17 years—on Oct. 18. Attendance is by reserved ticket only. Visit www.nasa.gov/ames/openhouse2014/ for information.
“Even though the movie is about Mountain View, there are similarities to Santa Clara,” says Bob Byrd, president of the board of directors of the Historic Preservation Society of Santa Clara. “This is really popular. People love local history and what life was like 40 or 50 years ago.”
“We’ve lived in such a great area and seen changes from canneries to Silicon Valley,” says volunteer Leo Martinez. “I’m making sure my grandkids know the history.” Martinez and his wife, Vivian, served the popcorn and cider.
The Harris-Lass House Museum preserve is owned by the City of Santa Clara and operated by the Historic Preservation Society, which hosts the fall movie night. The house will be open for docent-led tours from noon to 3:30 p.m. Sept. 21. Visit www.harrislass.org for additional information.