TEA News

25 October 2019

TEA Halloween Mixer at Garner Holt Productions, October 2019 - Tracy Balsz reports

The Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) Western North America Division organized a behind-the-scenes mixer at Garner Holt Productions on October 19 2019. Over 175 TEA members and their guests attended.


Report provided by Tracy Balsz. Photos for TEA by Mark Eades and Brian Tran.

Attendees enjoy appetizers and refreshments while
waiting for Garner Holt to take the stage.
Photo by Brian Tran.

Garner Holt Productions (GHP) hosted a spectacular TEA Western Division Halloween mixer, educational presentations and a tour of the massive, new company headquarters in Redlands, CA.

The founder of the company, Garner Holt, was honored by TEA in 2014 for lifetime achievement, with the Buzz Price Thea Award, and he and his staff were on hand to welcome the 175 TEA members and guests in attendance. We were invited to dress in costume, with surprise awards for best costumes, awarded by GHP's Carole Mumford, who sits on the TEA Western Division Board and was costumed as a spooky Snow White character. 

Enjoying Halloween-themed refreshments, guests mixed and mingled among some of Garner Holt’s most famous animatronic and molded characters, with a few very real and very scary monsters mixed in. Photo ops with Sulley from Monsters, Inc., Oogie Boogie from The Nightmare Before Christmas, giant animatronic spiders, and a host of spooky characters were set up for attendees to enjoy. It was very much a museum and educational journey among famous artifacts from Garner’s illustrious career of supplying themed entertainment parks, retail and haunted experiences. 

Attendees pose in front of a “Vampire” Yeti.
Photo by Mark Eades

Attendees at the event had the chance to hear first-hand from Garner about his beginning days building haunted houses for local malls at age 15 and being visited by his idols, engineers from WED (now Walt Disney Imagineering) in his San Bernardino home, while his Mom served milk and cookies in the living room. These defining events led Garner down his pathway of creating animatronics figures.

The evening included a screening of an amazing film (hosted by the one and only Mr. Dick Van Dyke) about the making of animatronics featuring Garner himself, followed by a guided walk through the GHP fabrication facility. We passed by multiple shops: design and engineering, sculpting, mold making, paint and fiberglass departments, the costume department, the machine shop and metal fabrication, electrical and robotics.

As a finale we were invited into a theater to watch a historical showpiece featuring an animatronic likeness of President Abraham Lincoln, which many consider to be Garner’s finest work and showcase of skills.

View photo album of the event here.


Garner Holt is honored for lifetime achievement at the 
2014 TEA Thea Awards. To his right is Bob Gurr.

Garner Holt is a 2014 recipient of the TEA Buzz Price Thea Award for a Lifetime of Distinguished Achievements. Learn more about his career and the award here


TEA to announce new Thea Awards recipients Nov 19, 2019 at IAAPA Expo Orlando

TEA will officially announce the new slate of TEA Thea Awards recipients at a press conference on Tuesday, Nov 19, 2019 at 2:25 pm (local time) during the IAAPA Attractions Expo in Orlando. The incoming TEA International Board President, Michael Blau of Adirondack Studios, will make the announcement from the TEA booth, #1066.




Posted by Christy Nakada



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