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29yrswithaGApass

Celebrate! - An Americana Music Hall Show

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Here is a nice piece of Great Adventure history.... 

 

Click below to view a complete video of the very first show performed at the Americana Music Hall (now Showcase Theatre) from 1978.  The video quality does have some interference but the audio (and the majority of video) allows us to relive GA's first indoor stage show.

 

CelebrateShowVideoHP.png

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I'm amazed that they were using wireless microphones back in 1978 - they were ahead of their time!  I cringe every time I think about the fact that GF has a 1500 seat theater and it is only used rarely on special occasions.

 

Someone from SF should visit Dollywood, who was just awarded Best Shows.  Maybe they could learn something.

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Having worked in Show Ops I can tell you the problem is MOST of GA's crowd won't sit through a show like this. You have people walking in and out throughout performances. 

 

The park absolutely should have entertainment, but it really needs to be things that you just "find" around the park where you can sit and watch or just catch part of as you pass by. Universal does a lot of this with small street shows around the park throughout the day. The idea of a sit down musical review like this is something that unless it done REALLY well doesn't play to theme park crowds anymore. 

 

I love these kind of shows when they are done well, but that takes money which most parks don't want to spend on entertainment anymore.

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16 hours ago, GAcoaster said:

Having worked in Show Ops I can tell you the problem is MOST of GA's crowd won't sit through a show like this. You have people walking in and out throughout performances. 

 

The park absolutely should have entertainment, but it really needs to be things that you just "find" around the park where you can sit and watch or just catch part of as you pass by. Universal does a lot of this with small street shows around the park throughout the day. The idea of a sit down musical review like this is something that unless it done REALLY well doesn't play to theme park crowds anymore. 

 

I love these kind of shows when they are done well, but that takes money which most parks don't want to spend on entertainment anymore.

 

And it seems that the ones that do well and survive have a meal component to them.  I've often wondered if SF has ever considered doing a Dinner Adventure type thing - limited capacity seating, air conditioned venue.  Orlando manages to support seven or eight of these things outside of the big parks, mainly on the I-Drive corridor.  Could be an interesting revenue stream, especially since they already have a liquor license.

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I worked the "Bubble Theater" for about 3 - 4 years... it was a long time ago... 

 

I believe that this was the first show in the new theater which was actually very "state of the art" for the time.  The audio track for the show was provided by a 1" real to real playback with multiple channels for orchestra/music background, sub-woofers and voice track.  All of the group singing on stage was pre-recorded track with only the on-mic singing real at the time... later the tap dancing was all on track.  The wireless microphones that were used were some of the earliest use of wireless microphones... I do not know what type if was, but it had a large battery that needed to be recharged every hour and did not have very good range.  The lighting system for the time was actually pretty good... follow-spots and nice proscenium stage.  When i saw the Proscenium edge lighting chase at the end of the show it brought back memories.

 

I loaded in this show, worked the rehearsals (with the folks of corporate Show Operations from Texas) and probably worked almost every show that season!

 

Working in the Americana Music Hall led me to be able to work as a Entertainment Technician for the next 39 years and into today.  The experience of working those shows and many others led me to a career in Technical Entertainment.  

 

Seeing this video and the pictures of other shows brings back memories that were long gone to time.  After half the show was done, I could even remember what song was next in line and then to see the Finale brought it all back.

 

If anyone has any other show videos from that time... please put them up.  

 

These were great memories.

 

Thanks

 

Darrell Stark

Galloway NJ  

Edited by D. Stark
added mic information
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I love to hear that the video brought back such fond memories for your Darrell!  One of the greatest rewards to me for doing this site is when we hear people say "oh wow, I remember that!" or "until I saw that picture I forgot all about that!".

 

The video came from a bunch of Six Flags shows from the late '70s on an old VHS tape that the park shared with me.  I am going to try to get this one professionally transferred in the hopes that they can eliminate the tracking interference.  As far as GA, the tape also has a very early version of one of the stage shows from the Bandstand on the Lake.  

 

Now that we upgraded our server and forums, we have greater flexibility in sharing larger size files and longer videos.  Many more will be added in the future.

 

 

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2 hours ago, D. Stark said:

I worked the "Bubble Theater" for about 3 - 4 years... it was a long time ago... 

 

I believe that this was the first show in the new theater which was actually very "state of the art" for the time.  The audio track for the show was provided by a 1" real to real playback with multiple channels for orchestra/music background, sub-woofers and voice track.  All of the group singing on stage was pre-recorded track with only the on-mic singing real at the time... later the tap dancing was all on track.  The wireless microphones that were used were some of the earliest use of wireless microphones... I do not know what type if was, but it had a large battery that needed to be recharged every hour and did not have very good range.  The lighting system for the time was actually pretty good... follow-spots and nice proscenium stage.  When i saw the Proscenium edge lighting chase at the end of the show it brought back memories.

 

I loaded in this show, worked the rehearsals (with the folks of corporate Show Operations from Texas) and probably worked almost every show that season!

 

Working in the Americana Music Hall led me to be able to work as a Entertainment Technician for the next 39 years and into today.  The experience of working those shows and many others led me to a career in Technical Entertainment.  

 

Seeing this video and the pictures of other shows brings back memories that were long gone to time.  After half the show was done, I could even remember what song was next in line and then to see the Finale brought it all back.

 

If anyone has any other show videos from that time... please put them up.  

 

These were great memories.

 

Thanks

 

Darrell Stark

Galloway NJ  

That is so cool.  I often think that if I didn't go into Civil Engineering I would have had the same career path you did.

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There are several of those dome buildings here in Orlando, and one that appears to be the same size as Showcase and is part of the Pirate's Dinner Theater was just destroyed by Irma:

 

DJnumtLV4AA79Yf.jpg

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