Hey, Spike! keeps on rolling with cinema action stories | SummitDaily.com

Hey, Spike! keeps on rolling with cinema action stories

Miles F. Porter IV
Special to the Daily

The continuing recall of Breckenridge's early movie theaters, brought on with the recent collapse of the Ten Mile Room under the weight of heavy snowfall and combined with a report from Robert Redford's Sundance Film Festival, hopefully will produce a column worthy of your time.

Following up on column reports from Tina Cunningham and Stacey Karas, who offered colorful cinematography memories, is an email from Win and Susan Lockwood, who are marking their 47th year here.

"It has been a very long time since I have run into you, but have very much enjoyed your columns over the years," Win begins. "Susan and I have really enjoyed so many of the letters, articles and your column that have included recollections of the 4 Seasons Theater in Breckenridge."

"We can still remember George and Sylvia Karas selling tickets and ushering movie-goers to their seats," the Lockwoods remember.

"Our first recollections are of the 1970-72 period in the Quonset Hut building along Colorado 9 at the north end of the original town boundary ­— across the street from the current 7-Eleven," Win writes. "The owner/operator sold (legally or illegally?) beer at the candy and popcorn stand, and it was not unusual to see beer bottles fly through the air at the screen, if certain viewers were not enthralled with what they were watching."

"We can particularly remember watching John Wayne in 'True Grit' (an original 1969 release) at the Hut in the back row, because there was a lot of unusual activity amongst several patrons in the front rows," Win remembers.

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Another recollection, he offers, is Jean-Claude Killy's ski movie premiere at the Maggie: "Snow Job," starring JC and French movie star Danielle Gaubert in either late-1971 or early '72.

"It was a big affair hosted by the Breckenridge Company impresarios — Don Fowler, Dave Lowe and Reed Chalfan, with Ray McGinnis' and Larry Steenrod's jazz band providing the musical entertainment," says Win.

Location, location, on location

In current movie news, local filmmaker-site location manager Ann Lukacs was out in Utah for the 33rd annual Park City gathering.

"Sundance — the name alone suggests independent filmmaking at its highest level," reports Ann. "Anywhere you go in Park City is a flurry of activity and great energy — filmmakers, artists, musicians, actors and distributors. This year also included the Women's March through the downtown."

During the festival, one of the storefronts on Main Street houses the Utah Film Commission.

"This year they were hosting the Location Managers Guild International," she offers. "As a member of this professional organization, it was a great opportunity to network with producers, film commissioners, peers and friends, while a panel discussion with some of the most respected location managers in the industry offered valuable insight to securing locations."

Park City and Utah are very film-friendly, Ann finds. This year's tour found the new Park City Film Studios to be a highlight.

"Building this state-of-the-art facility allows filmmakers a place to work with the perks of being in Park City," Ann believes.

Ann's Utah resume includes work on many major feature films and commercials including "Gravity," "John Carter of Mars," "Doctor Who," and "Pirates of the Caribbean 3."

According to Ann, Utah has an advantage over Colorado as it offers lucrative film incentives, an attractive draw for producers, but it is also about the location.

In addition, the cooperation of the community, availability of crew, permitting ease, and having a film-friendly attitude to problem-solving are what ultimately attract a production. The benefits of a production can be substantial as they spend money on lodging, restaurants, locations, crew, infrastructure support and vendors.

"Anyone who remembers when 'National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation' was in Breckenridge will remember the money that came with it," she notes.

"Of course, watching movies is what Sundance is all about," Ann reports. "Sundance allows filmmakers the opportunity to connect with a buyer/distributor and 'make a deal,' which will ultimately get their film seen by a larger audience and financially recoup some of their production expenses."

This year's top Sundance films include these: "I don't feel at home in this world anymore," "Last Men in Aleppo," "The Nile Hilton Incident," "Chasing Coral," and "Crown Heights."

Miles F. Porter IV, nicknamed "Spike," a Coloradan since 1949, is an Army veteran, former hardrock miner, graduate of Adams State College, and a local since 1982. An award-winning investigative reporter, he and wife Mary E. Staby owned newspapers here for 20 years. Email your social info to milesfporteriv@aol.com