DENVER (KDVR) – Colorado draws vacationers interested in exploration on a regular basis, and sometimes among those flocking to the state for impactful moments and scenes are entire film crews.
Colorado has hosted a litany of productions, including “Dumb And Dumber,” “Cliffhanger,” and “Independence Day.” However, the following list includes a few other silver-screen projects you may not have known were connected to the Centennial State.
Vacation (1983) and Christmas Vacation (1989)
Production for the 1983 and 1989 installments of this franchise landed in Colorado at one point or another. According to the American Film Institute Catalog, the opening film’s road trip scenes were shot across five states at 90 separate locations, which included Alamosa and Durango.
A few years later, Breckenridge played host to the Christmas-focused iteration of the franchise, which reportedly brought $1.5. million to the local economy, according to a 1989 article from the Back Stage news. The three-week shoot took Chevy Chase and company on a tour of sorts through the small ski town while filming at the following locations.
- Breckenridge locations included in the film:
- Summit County High School gymnasium
- Highway 9
- A ski slope (the Pam-grease-on-the-sled scene)
- The Breckenridge Golf Course (used in the Christmas tree lot scene)
- A local Walmart
This classic Rodney Dangerfield vehicle was, according to the AFI, penned in to be shot in Dallas, Texas in 1991, but due to the Texas summer sun, producers chose to relocate the project to the cooler city of Denver.
- Denver locations included
- A ballroom in the Brown Palace Hotel
- McCormick’s Restaurant
- Cherry Hills Village
- Denver Technological Center
- Kent Denver School
- St. Mary’s Academy
- Auraria Higher Education Center
Over the Top (1987)
The filming of the scenes that took place at a military academy in this Sly Stalone film may have appeared to be filmed in Ouray, Colorado, but according to Movie Maps, the entirety of those scenes were actually shot at Pomona College in Los Angeles, California. That city was also where most of the film was shot, aside from those scenes shot in Las Vegas.
Blades of Glory (2007)
Three years after he “moon-booted” his way into America’s hearts via the uncorking of “Canned Heat” orchestrated by Jamiroquai, Jon Heder teamed up with Will Ferrell to make an ice skating picture. They played rivals who fell from grace in the world of international ice skating, and one of the rinks they performed on, according to the Movie District, actually can be visited here in the state.
- Colorado Locations included
- Moby Arena, Moby Drive, Fort Collins, Colorado
The Prestige (2006)
This David Bowie-including masterpiece of suspense and magician-created twists actually has multiple scenes that took place in Colorado Springs, where Nikola Tesla had set up an interesting power grid back in the 1890s, according to PBS. Although those scenes weren’t actually shot in Colorado Springs, several locations within the state made it onto the Christopher Nolan project.
- Colorado Locations used in the film:
- Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad
- Redstone Castle
The Shining (1980)
It may not have made it onto the film, but according to the Smithsonian Magazine, Stephen King once stayed at The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park ahead of his penning of the book version of “The Shining” It would eventually inspire the Kubrick project of the same name, but the hotel seen in the movie is actually the Timberline Lodge in Oregon’s Mount Hood National Forest.
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)
A societal question that has faded since the introduction of a crystal skull has always been, “Which ‘Indiana Jones’ is your favorite?” Aside from the involvement of Sean Connery, Coloradans should hold the third entry of the Harrison Ford series in high regard due to the simple fact that some of it was shot within the Centennial State, according to the AFI. Hopefully, it was not the catacomb scenes.
City Slickers (1991)
Billy Crystal and the better half of Home Alone’s “Sticky Bandits” led this early ’90s comedic gold mine, which was shot on the Steward Ranch down in Durango. According to the AFI, after shooting at the ranch for roughly six weeks, the cast and crew relocated down to New Mexico, but if you want to go see some of the dirt they kicked up on their journey to get away from the big city, you can visit the ranch down in southern Colorado.
Bonus round: A TV submission
Mork & Mindy (1978)
When roaming around Boulder you could come across the former home, in appearance at least, of the beloved alien from “Happy Days,” played by Robin Williams. The 1978 program, Mork and Mindy, had an exterior shot that they used of the home located at 1619 Pine St. in Boulder.
The interior was shot in California. However, another Colorado locale also made it on air every time the show airs. According to the Athletic, Folsom Field can be seen at the end of the opening credits, so I guess Boulder was, in a way, a co-start to Mork from Ork.