Final Weekend for Flying A

By Scott Craig   |   March 7, 2023
Noah Nims stars as William Desmond Taylor

Wet weather and storm watches didn’t keep people away from the opening weekend of the Westmont College Festival Theatre’s world premiere Diamond to Dust: A Flying A Fantasy. Director John Blondell and writer Michael Bernard, a local actor, educator and playwright, have brought Santa Barbara’s treasured cinematic history to the stage in a creative exploration of the silent film industry and its historical significance. Westmont’s Porter Theatre hosts performances March 2-4 at 7:30 pm; and Saturday, March 4, at 2 pm. Tickets, which cost $15 for general admission, and $10 for students and seniors, are available at

In Santa Barbara, one of the centers of American film from 1912 to about 1921, the American Film Manufacturing Company of Chicago, commonly called the Flying A, made more than 1,000 films. It produced numerous serials, comedies, Westerns, and even a few notable features with some of the most famous actors of the period: Mary Miles Minter, Lottie Pickford, and Jack Kerrigan.


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