Eerie enough to inspire Stephen King’s The Shining and, in turn, the book’s film adaptation, Colorado’s Stanley Hotel is embracing its image as a horror landmark. The hotel recently shared plans to create the Stanley Film Center, which would be a ground-breaking horror museum, complete with a film archive and film production studio.
The hotel already has a long history of Shining fans wanting to sleep under the same roof where much of the 1980 thriller starring Jack Nicholson was filmed, but the new project would go far beyond that. Designed by MOA Architecture, the film center would feature a 500-seat auditorium, a 3,000 sq. ft soundstage, classrooms, workshop spaces, and post-production and editing suites. There would also be a 30,000 sq. ft. interactive museum and discovery center, where visitors would view rotating exhibits.
With so many exciting draws, it’s estimated that hotel visitors could number in the hundreds of thousands each year.
The film center, however, is not yet a sure thing. It is envisioned as a nonprofit public-private partnership, and as such, the hotel has applied for an $11.5 million credit from the state. An affirmative vote would round out the needed funding; should all go according to plan, the Stanley Hotel grounds will gain the $24 million, 43,000 sq. ft. facility.
That notable players in horror are intrigued with the project is a good sign. The likes of Elijah Wood, Simon Pegg, George A. Romero, Mick Garris, Josh Waller, and Daniel Noah have joined the founding board. On top of that, film and exhibit commitments are already pouring in from other big names. Among them are Charlie Adlard, the creator of The Walking Dead, director/producer Clive Barker (Hellraiser and the Candyman series), and Rick Baker, the Academy Award-winning special make-up effects creator behind The Ring, Planet of the Apes, and so much more.
“I would love to have a home to which we could constantly come year-round and celebrate with other fans from around the world.” The actor/horror film producer highlighted how the Stanley Film Center could provide a place where horror fans, film industry leaders, students, and aspiring filmmakers could gather to share their appreciation for the genre and learn through exhibits, workshops, and more.
Education is, in fact, central to the Stanley Hotel’s plans for the center, especially through a partnership with the Colorado Film School. An apprenticeship and artist-in-residence program will get students involved. “Students and faculty will work side-by-side with some of the biggest industry names to design exhibits, curate films, program events, and lead workshops and masterclasses,” said Frederic Lahey, Founding Director of the school. “This is the type of opportunity that will draw students from around the world.”
The Stanley hotel is confident that its film center will become a reality. “At 109 years old, the story of the Stanley Hotel is just beginning,” said owner John Cullen.
Here’s hoping that he’s right, because the proposed project sounds like a horror lover’s dream come true.
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