Movies Way Back When: Touring the Piranhurst Estate
By Betsy J. Green
There were a couple of walking/hiking groups in Santa Barbara in the 19-teens. One was the Nature Study Club. This group was fortunate enough to be allowed to wander around some of Montecito’s grandest estates. (In those years, some of the estates were open to the public.)
In 1919, the group visited the “Piranhurst” estate belonging to H.E. Bothin on Cold Spring Road. “A walk through a lovely canyon under rustic arbors covered with trumpet vine and passion flowers led to the open-air theater that is unique in its setting and is a joy and delight to the beholder.” The “Flying A” and a studio from Los Angeles had filmed silent movies at this estate.