(Above: The films feature guitarist Jimmy Dillon and local cellist Katy Boyd.)
If you've ever trekked to the top of Mount Tamalpais, then you know it's one of the most majestic spots in the entire Bay Area with killer views to boot. But what you may not know, is that the summit is also home to an old Air Force station in dire need of repair.
Local filmmaker Gary Yost tackled the much-needed restoration of Mt. Tam's western peak in a series of three short films, which debuted to a sold-out house at the Throckmorton Theater in Mill Valley earlier this month.
"In 1950, the military bulldozed the highest peak of Mt. Tam to build an Air Force Station tasked with directing jet interceptors and short range nuclear missiles against the potential threat of Russian nuclear bombers. But by 1980 the base was obsolete and summarily closed. The military walked away from dozens of structures, leaving behind a huge toxic mess on the mountain," Yost writes on the film's Vimeo site.
An abandoned Air Force station lies in disrepair on the top of Mt. Tam in Marin County.(Photo courtesy of Gary Yost)
Through the use of historical footage, 3D reconstruction, interviews and breathtaking time lapse cinematography, the 20-minute films, narrated and co-written by Peter Coyote, explore the history of Tam's West Peak and how local citizens have been fighting to restore their mountain to a natural state.
The film features guitarist Jimmy Dillon and local cellist Katy Boyd, playing an original arrangement of Bach's 5th Cello Suite "Serabande" for cello and resonator/steel blues guitar.
In large part thanks to the popularity of the movies, funds have been raised and restoration of the Air Force station has finally begun.
Watch the series below: