Colorado is no Hollywood, but the state does have a rich film past, if not an active film present, as detailed in our cover story "The Reel West." Today, in an effort to jump-start the state's movie business, lawmakers will debate a plan to increase incentives for filmmakers to shoot movies in Colorado. And now through May 6, you can see posters from some of the movies made here in decades past at the Hollywood, Colorado exhibit at the Boulder History Museum. The exhibit includes about 45 movie posters from films shot in Colorado from the late 1800s through the present. Many of the posters came from the Aurora History Museum, though Boulder curator Emilie Elmore Kintner added some Boulder flavor. "It definitely tells the story of film history in Colorado as a whole, but we interspersed some specifics about Boulder and Boulder County," Elmore Kintner says.
Those specifics include posters from two Westerns filmed at Rollins Pass in the 1920s: 1925's The White Desert and The Trail of '98, which was released in 1928. The White Desert, which Wikipedia describes as "a melodrama about railroad builders," is particularly important, Elmore Kintner says. The B-movie is "the oldest movie with Boulder ties that still exists," she notes, though its not readily available on DVD.
The exhibit also includes artifacts from The Glenn Miller Story, filmed on the University of Colorado campus in 1953 and 1954, and Catch and Release, a 2006 Jennifer Garner flick shot partly on the Pearl Street Mall. That film, Elmore Kintner says, is the Boulder Film Commission's "claim to fame when trying to get producers into Boulder." Elmore Kintner's favorite part of the exhibit, though, is the Sundance Film Festival award won by the Boulder-based director of The Cove, a 2009 documentary about dolphin hunting in Japan. The doc also won an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature in 2010. Though Boulder's Oceanic Preservation Society, which backed the film, lent the museum one of the fake-rock camera-housing units used to capture covert underwater footage, they did not hand over their statuette.
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"They let me hold their Oscar, and I asked if I could borrow it," she says. "They said no. Fair enough."
Admission to the Boulder History Museum is $6. It's open Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, noon to 4 p.m.