The Legend of Pancho Barnes & the Happy Bottom Riding Club

She was a Pasadena society girl turned adventurer and aviator.Florence Lowe “Pancho” Barnes was a force of nature, a woman who lived a big, messy, colorful, unconventional life.  A charismatic figure featured in Tom Wolfe’s book The Right Stuff, Florence “Pancho” Barnes was one of the most important women in 20th Century aviation. A tough and fearless aviatrix, Pancho was a rival of Amelia Earhart’s who made a name for herself as Hollywood’s first female stunt pilot.

Just before WWII she opened a ranch near Edwards Air Force Base that became a famous — some would say notorious — hangout for test pilots and movie stars. Chuck Yeager celebrated breaking the sound barrier there in 1947, and Howard Hughes and Jimmy Doolittle caroused in the bar. Known as the “Happy Bottom Riding Club”, it became the epicenter of the aviation world during the early jet age.

The Club’s destruction by fire in 1953 is seen by many to mark the end of a Golden Era in post-WWII aviation. In the same fashion Pancho herself has become something of a legend, a fascinating yet enigmatic icon whose swagger is often celebrated, but whose story has been largely unknown. 

 Featuring interviews with test pilots Bob Cardenas, Bob Hoover and Chuck Yeager, astronaut Buzz Aldrin, and biographers Barbara Schultz and Lauren Kessler. Narrated by Tom Skerritt with Kathy Bates as the voice of Pancho Barnes.


Hosted by Producer/Writer Nick Sparks


APRIL 27 @ 7 pm

The Electric Theater

Ticket reservations required

$10 CASH at the door

Ticket Type Price Qty. Tickets
Admission - PB & HBRC $10
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