Vintage Aspen on big screen tonight |

Vintage Aspen on big screen tonight

Janet Urquhart

Classic local ski footage has been compiled for a special showing on the big screen tonight at the Wheeler Opera House.The free showing, part of the Aspen Historical Society’s Celebrate History Week, actually covers Aspen’s history from its mining heyday in the 1880s to its rebirth as a ski resort in the 1950s to action at Highlands in the early ’70s.Segments from the FIS World Championships, held in Aspen in 1950, early ski scenes and views of town, as well as early footage at Snowmass and plenty of local faces are all featured in the clips.”I think they all have people that we know and love, and maybe you’ll see yourself,” said Georgia Hanson, executive director of the Aspen Historical Society. “There’s this whole crowd on the Merry-Go-Round deck in the sunshine in classic ’70s garb watching what we used to call hot-dog contests.”John Masters of GrassRoots TV edited the rarely seen footage. Four films will be shown either in their entirety or in shortened versions for a total viewing time of an hour and 10 minutes. A fifth surprise film is also likely, Hanson promised.The doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the lights will dim at 7 p.m.Among the featured films is “Aspen Album,” filmed and produced in 1965 by late ski-racing legend Dick Durrance. Used as a promotional film, it offers footage from Aspen Mountain and at Snowmass before the latter’s development.Other scenes were captured in “Ski Aspen Highlands,” produced by Dick Barrymore for the Aspen Highlands Corp. in 1970 and starring ski instructors of the time, as well as some unique footage from Maroon Bowl.”There’s some fabulous shots of skiing Maroon Bowl,” Hanson said.”Yoo Hoo I’m a Bird,” filmed and produced in 1966 by local mountaineering and nature filmmaker Roger Brown, now a Gypsum resident, is also included in some of tonight’s footage. The film was made as an in-flight movie shown on United Airlines flights to Denver, Reno, South Lake Tahoe and Salt Lake City.The “Yoo Hoo” segment stars the late Fred Iselin, who was the ski school director at Highlands, on the prowl trying to pick up ladies in the bars by promoting his ski prowess. Watch for scenes at Highlands and at the old Copper Kettle (later the Tippler) bar.”Stein Turned On” offers film clips of Stein Eriksen from the late 1960s. It features heli-skiing on Mount Daly, Stein winning medals at the Olympics in Norway, ski jumping on Aspen Mountain, action at Snowmass and assorted powder shots.Attendees are invited to wear vintage ski clothing and visit with friends during a reception after the films in the Wheeler lobby. The reception is sponsored by Genre Bistro and the historical society board of trustees.Janet Urquhart’s e-mail address is

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