"We Skied It": Film Premier At Telluride's Opera House

[click “Play” to hear Senior Mahoney’s conversation withSusan]

“We Skied It” premier at Sheridan Opera House, December 17, 6:00 PM & 8:00 PM

Poster final In the 1970s, Telluride was just finding its ski legs, a baby ski resort beginning to pulse thanks very much to a chap from Beverly Hills called Joe Zoline. At the time, half of Main Street was still boarded up and lots of folks were beating a path out of town muttering darkly because Idarado had just closed for business. The historic Sheridan Opera House, now nearly restored to its full Victorian splendor, was a wreck, a camping ground for derelicts with broken glass and upturned mattresses everywhere. But what of life before Zoline, See Forever, Spiral Stairs, and Milk Run helped put Telluride on the map?

About a year and a half ago, longtime local Larry Hopkins re-discovered gold in Telluride – celluloid gold – in the form of Senior Mahoney’s 16MM home movies. Hopkins did not pass Go. He headed straight for the Telluride Historical Museum with his new-found treasure, where museum director Lauren Bloemsma and her team picked up the gauntlet.

The Telluride Museum began staging a series of fundraisers at The Elks, using the the footage as bait. In the ensuing processing of archiving and digitizing, more of Telluride’s legacy emerged, bits and pieces passed on from Robert Wilson, whose dad Frank B. once owned the pharmacy, and from Dick Swerdfeger, a former superintendent of the Idarado Mines. Some of the 16MM treasures that fell into the hands of the Museum dated all the way back to 1928. Enter Amy Levek and Dean Rolley, of TELL Me A Story MEdia.

The filmmakers cherry-picked the footage to find the best of the best and pulled it all together in a documentary, “We Skied It!”,  showcasing familiar faces and places before the rest of the world discovered skiing in Telluride. “We Skied It” features  Mona McIntire, Allan Ranta, Vicki Ranta Eidsmo, and Dick Swerdfeger, and stars William “Senior” Mahoney.

Senior Mahoney moved to Telluride when he was a boy of three. A miner-turned-skier and resort honcho is honored in the Skier Hall of Fame. To learn more about the bad old days straight from the horse’s mouth, click the “play” button and listen to Mahoney’s podcast.

Note: If you have to miss the encore screening, “We Skied It” will be available on DVD thereafter at the Museum and other fine stores in Telluride and the Mountain Village.

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