Filmmaker to Produce Documentary About Historic Movie Theatre

posted by seandb on August 25, 2005 at 4:12 am

Contact: Sean Doherty

Colorado filmmaker Sean Doherty has announced plans to produce a documentary about The Historic Park Theatre in Estes Park, Colorado. The Historic Park Theatre is the oldest running movie theatre west of the Mississippi River. The theatre was built in 1913 with the landmark tower added in 1922 by Ralph Gwynn. Long time locals Richard and Ola Stanger operated the theatre from 1968 until their deaths; Richard in 2003 and Ola from ovarian cancer in 2005.

In recent years the Park Theatre has fallen into a state of disrepair. In order to save the theatre from closure, the Stanger family, along with the Cultural Arts Council of Estes Park, have partnered to raise funds to restore the movie theatre to its original 1920’s prime and to continue its operation as the oldest continuous movie theater west of the Mississippi.

The story of the theatre and the mission to save it will be told by the Stanger Family and many of the employees who were there during the theatre’s early years. Filming will begin in late August with a tentative release date set for the summer of 2006. The Historic Park Theatre will also be the home of the 2006 Estes Park Film Festival next September.

Sean Doherty, a film graduate from Orlando, Florida, has been making films since he was in middle school. Earlier this year Sean co-organized the first ever film festival in Central Nebraska in the town of Kearney. Since moving to Colorado this year Sean has started his own production company SDI Entertainment and has chosen the Park Theatre to be the subject of his first full length documentary.

“Historic movie theatres like this one are a part of our American culture and history. It’s important that we preserve these theatres so future generations can enjoy them.”

For more information about the film and the Historic Park Theatre please visit

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