RETRO FILM SERIES

ASPEN HISTORICAL SOCIETY AND ASPEN FILM PRESENT

 

RETRO FILM SERIES

 

When: Tuesdays, January 19 – March 9
Streams begin at 7 p.m. and are available for 36 hours.

 

Cost: Suggested donation $10 per stream, or $60 for access to complete series (8 dates). To sign up for the complete series, select the $60 option during registration.

 

Donations: Additional donations to support both Aspen Historical Society and Aspen Film are much appreciated and will be accepted at check-out to split between the two organizations.

 

Registration & more info: Register online here via Aspen Historical Society. A link for screening will be provided in your email confirmation after registration.

Tuesday, January 19th

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Film #1 – Aspen Before Lifts (1945/46) (18 minutes) A promotional film of early skiing with Friedel Pfeiffer, Johnny Litchfield, and Percy Rideout, among others. The film shows Aspen Mountain, the early Roch Run, and some school children on the T-Bar at the Little Nell run.

Film #2 – Until We Meet in Aspen (1949) (24 minutes) A promotional film made by Dick Durrance featuring Gary Cooper, Walter Paepcke, Friedl Pfeifer, Fred Iselin, Klaus Obermeyer, Pete Seibert, Mike Magnifico, Stuart Mace, Gordy Wren, Jack Reddish, and Shady Lane. The film also includes early photos of the town of Aspen, showing remodeled homes (many done by architect Walter Frasier of Chicago) and guest cottages around town.

 

Tuesday, January 26th

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Film #1 – Little Skiers Big Day (1955) (25 minutes) A film by Fred Iselin featuring 5-year-old local resident Susie Wirth as she skis to school from Aspen Mountain. The film also includes a costume ski race and a ski ballet sequence. It was later re-shot by Disney and called “Fantasy on Skis.”

Film #2 – Ski Time in Aspen (1955) (27 minutes) A promotional film by Dick Durrance that tells the story of Aspen as a ski resort, beginning with a ski race featuring Gale “Spider” Spence. It also includes a subplot of young people meeting on a ski vacation with footage of Wintersköl and popular Aspen night spots Mario’s and the Hotel Jerome.

 

Tuesday, February 2nd

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Film #1 – Aspen Winter Mood (1963) (28 minutes) An Aspen Ski Corporation promotional film by Dick Durrance that shows the breadth of winter activities in the area. The film features a montage of Aspen scenes including Little Annie run with Betty Moore and Pricilla and Marshall Barnard, Toklat and Stuart Mace with his dog team, and Cherie Gerbaz Oates and Ron Funk (of the US Ski team) chase about on Aspen Mountain. The film ends with the Aspen Mt. Ski Patrol closing the day with its final sweep.

Film #2 – It Happens in Aspen (1966) (26 minutes) Time Life TV Broadcast produced this film, directed by Marv Chauvin. The film opens at the Denver airport and follows a groups’ arrival in Aspen, which is celebrating the 20th anniversary of Aspen Skiing Corporation. Several shots of Aspen include the Hotel Jerome, multiple lodges, and shops. There are also scenes of a “Crud Party” at the Hotel Jerome and dancing at the Copper Kettle.

 

Tuesday, February 9th

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Film #1 – Snowmass in 1967 (1967) (6 minutes) This promotional Aspen Skiing Corporation film by Dick Durrance contains scenes of skiing in Snowmass before the lifts were opened. The film includes Carol Craig, Alice Scutter, and Hal Hartman skiing powder at the top of the Big Burn, which they have reached via snowcat. Also featured are Don Rayburn, Tom Marshall, Mona Mitchell, and Stein Eriksen.

Film #2 – Grand Opening of Snowmass (1967) (23 minutes) This film by NBC News aired on December 15th, 1967. It shows Snowmass’ Grand Opening celebration with scenes from final preparations the day before the opening, then opening festivities. Featured in the film are Stein Ericksen skiing along with his ski instructor crew jumping though a hoop, Bill Janss and Jim Snobble skiing before the ski area opens, and interviews with Stein and Bill. Also included are scenes with skibobs, ski patrol, and ski joring along with scenes of the new Snowmass Mall and amenities.

Film #3 – Highlands Fling (1975) (20 minutes) Filmed by Dick Barrymore, this lighthearted film stars Betsy Glenn Barrymore as a “foxy” ski instructor and Bill Stelling as “Groovy McDoogle,” who pretends to be a beginner student while visiting the mountain for a “hot dogging” competition.

 

Tuesday, February 16th

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Film #1 – Yoo Hoo I’m a Bird (c. 1967) (26 minutes) A film by Fred Iselin that begins with Fred at Aspen Highlands and then follows him on brief tours of several other ski areas. The film touches on Fred’s unique and groundbreaking instructing approach. The final scenes include freestyle skiing and emphasize the feeling of freedom that skiing provides, like that of a bird in flight.

Film #2 – A clip from The Best of John Jay (c. 1965) (23-minute section) Widely regarded as the “father” of the ski film in its modern form, Jay was particularly adept at filming from a pair of fast-moving skis. This film is described as “A Vail-to-Zermatt greatest-hits compilation from this prolific ski-cinema patriarch, serving up a pioneering pan-global ski safari of yesteryear’s most daring action.“ This specific clip features ski scenes from Taos, Vail, and Aspen.

 

Tuesday, February 23rd

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Film #1 – Big Week at Aspen (1964) (23 minutes) Narrated by Jack Douglas, this film includes interviews with Leon Uris and John Herron. The film features views of Shadow Mtn. Lodge, Aspen Alps, Hotel Jerome, Red Onion, Golden Horn, Aspen Inn, The Abbey, Aspen Country Club Inn, Kandahar Apartments, snowmobiles or “skidoos,” a sleigh ride, dog sledding at Toklat, Bank of Aspen’s ski-up window, Valley Kilns, Wildweed, Aspen Meadows, Aspen Health Center, Copper Kettle at the Meadows, the Wheeler Opera House, and Lift One. The Wintersköl section features the parade, torchlight descent, fireworks, and the Saloon Slalom.

Film #2 – Aspen Glow (1969) (22 minutes) A film by Dick Barrymore featuring shots of Aspen in the summer and winter of 1969. The winter scenes include Lifts One and Two, and ski jumping. It also includes a Wintersköl parade, ice hockey, a torchlight descent down the mountain, Buttermilk Mountain, skiing on the Big Burn at Snowmass, skiing with wing suits, and cross-country skiing.

 

Tuesday, March 2nd

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Film #1 – 10th Mountain Division at Camp Hale (1940s) (8 minutes) This footage features 10th Mountain activities at Camp Hale, Ski Cooper, maneuvers near Mt. Holy Cross, snow shelters, a Weasel snowcat, and a short section at Ashcroft. The film was shot by the donor’s father and uncle, Paul and Ralph Lafferty. There is no dialogue in this film.

Film #2 – 1950 FIS World Championships (1950) (10 minutes) Filmed by Dick Durrance and narrated by Gary Cooper, this film features the men’s downhill race. It begins in town at the Hotel Jerome, shows Bingo the dog, then spans to Lift One. The remainder of the footage includes downhill racers going over the Dam, down Spar Gulch, over Niagara then through Schuss Gully to the finish, complete with several crashes.

#3 – Wintersköl (1955) (19 minutes) Produced by Miller High Life beer company, this film features local personalities Bob Murri, Fred Iselin, Herbert Bayer, and Ralph Jackson. It begins with a tractor ride to Lift One, passing numerous empty lots between the Hotel Jerome and the mountain. Ski instructor Morrie Shepard is seen teaching a ski class and the Uhl family skis together. There are shots of the Hotel Jerome pool in winter, a Wintersköl parade, a costume race, dancing at the Golden Horn, and the t-bar on Little Nell. Ski personalities Dick Wright, Klaus Obermeyer, Sandy Sabbatini, and John Litchfield make cameo appearances.

 

Tuesday, March 9th

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Film #1 – The Aspen Outrageous Ski School Movie (1975) (13 minutes) This film was written and produced by Jack Hanna and (possibly) narrated by Brian Suitor. It features Snowmass Ski School including many ski instructors such as Ken Oakes, Linda Harlan, Yvan Tache, and Ed Lucks.

Film #2 – Aspen Dream (1975) (10 minutes) This film was produced by the Weed Patch Camera Club, photographed by Robert Bagley, Sterling Johnson, and Bob Collins. Also listed on the credits are Tom Rowe, Don McKinnon, and Paul Ryan. It features Spider Sabich who also narrates. There is ski racing by Aspen Valley Ski Club kids, the Popcorn Wagon, Little Nell, many scenes from Snowmass, hang gliding, cycling, ice skating, Gelundesprung, and the ski splash.

Film #3 – The Many Faces of Aspen (1955) (12 minutes) By Dick Barrymore, this film shows skiing and nightlife in Aspen and features scenes of Ruthie’s Run, Bell Mountain, Red Onion, Snowmass area cabin, Stromberg’s Restaurant, dancing, and music. Featured in the film are Ernst Hinterseer, Buzzy Bent, Ray Conrad, Darrell Williams, Fred Iselin, Freddie Fisher, and Victor Wayne and Anderl Molterer, who demonstrates the double pole plant

Film #4 – Aspen Summer Mood (1963) (14 minutes) Aspen Association filmed nearly all the summer activities to be experienced in Aspen, including the Maroon Bells/Snowmass Wilderness, Marble, Crystal, and Carbondale. Local personalities in the opening scenes include Roberta Waterson, Sammy Craig (who became a ski coach at the University of Utah), Vivian and Bill Goodnough, and Jim Hayes. There are several scenes of the Aspen Music Festival, and the vice president of the Aspen Skiing Corporation is shown bicycling to Aspen Meadows.

 

Little Skiers Big Day

Until We Meet in Aspen

Grand Opening of Snowmass

Highlands Fling

Photos courtesy of Aspen Historical Society 

ABOUT ASPEN HISTORICAL SOCIETY Aspen Historical Society (AHS) actively preserves and passionately presents local history in an inspired and provocative manner that will continue to anchor our community and its evolving character. AHS maintains one of the largest public archives in the region, with a portion of our collection available online as a free resource. AHS operates four historic sites: Wheeler/Stallard Museum, Holden/Marolt Mining & Ranching Museum, and the ghost towns of Independence and Ashcroft, and offers year-round tours, programs, and community events for all ages to explore the history of the upper Roaring Fork Valley. Visit www.aspenhistory.org or follow @historyaspen on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for more information.