As the centennial celebration of Seattle'ês first world'ês fair winds down, KCTS is presenting a one-hour documentary to cap the festivities. The film about the wacky 1909 Alaska-Yukon Pacific Exposition that took place on the UW campus, appropriately called 'êSeattle'ês Forgotten World'ês Fair,'ê was produced by videographer John Forsen with support from a several local organizations. It'ês rare that anyone makes a documentary about Seattle history, and the result of Forsen'ês efforts is one of the best I'êve seen in years.
Seattle'ês ubiquitous resident Hollywood-type Tom Skerrit provides the raspy yet soothingly authoritative narration, and a big cast of local history types fill in the gaps with their own tales of the AYP. My only complaint with the film is the number of voices — I know most of these people from my days at MOHAI, and even I had hard time keeping track of who said what. Talking heads aside, the real stars of the show are the hundreds of historic photos from the UW and MOHAI collections, as well as a few choice minutes of motion picture film.
For anyone who ever sets foot on the UW campus, 'êSeattle'ês Forgotten World'ês Fair'ê will be an eye-opener, and you'êll likely get caught up in trying to figure out where certain AYP attractions were located — such as my favorite, a ride from the AYP 'êPaystreak'ê (that'ês AYP-ese for 'êmidway'ê) called 'êThe Tickler.'ê About the only recognizable things left from the AYP nowadays are the fountain, the Architecture Building and the George Washington statue. This is one show worth sitting through a pledge drive for.
'êSeattle'ês Forgotten World'ês Fair,'ê airs at 7 p.m. tonight, Saturday, on KCTS channel 9, with additional showings in coming weeks.