What would it be like to follow your dream and, through hard work, talent, and imagination, become the largest producer of animatronics in the world? You can ask Garner Holt that question and more at the San Bernardino County Museum on Saturday, July 14, from 1 to 3 p.m.
At age 16, Garner Holt graduated early from high school and founded the company that bears his name in his hometown of San Bernardino. Two years earlier he had been inspired by a trip to see Disneyland’s “Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln” show, featuring an animatronic version of the 16th president. The experience sparked Garner’s lifelong fascination with the art and technology of animatronics. Today, forty years after its founding, Garner Holt Productions is the internationally recognized leader in the design and manufacture of animatronic figures, show and ride systems, show action equipment, special effects, sets, and scenery. His inspiring story of creativity and scientific innovation is the subject of the museum’s new exhibit, “Mechanized Magic: 40 Years of Garner Holt Productions in San Bernardino County.”
Museum Director Melissa Russo said, “’Mechanized Magic’ brings to the Museum just a few of the astonishing pieces conceived and built by the fantastic creative and technical team at Garner Holt Productions. This company would not have been possible except for the creativity and tenacity of young Garner Holt, and the willingness of his parents to let him take over the family garage in the 1970s. This public appearance is an opportunity for visitors to meet him in person and learn more about this local story.”
Holt will be at the museum on Saturday, July 14, to meet visitors and give more insight into the cool animatronics in the Mechanized Magic exhibit. He’ll even sign posters available for purchase in the Museum Store.
“Mechanized Magic: 40 Years of Garner Holt Productions in San Bernardino County” and the San Bernardino County Museum’s exhibits of regional cultural and natural history and the Museum’s other exciting events and programs reflect the effort by the Board of Supervisors to achieve the Countywide Vision by celebrating arts, culture, and education in the county, creating quality of life for residents and visitors.
The San Bernardino County Museum is at 2024 Orange Tree Lane, at the California Street exit from Interstate 10 in Redlands. The museum is open Tuesdays through Sundays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. General admission is $10 (adult), $8 (military or senior), $7 (student), and $5 (child aged 5 to 12). Children under five and Museum Association members are admitted free. Parking is free. For more information, visit www.sbcounty.gov/museum. The museum is accessible to persons with disabilities.