COBWEB CORNERS: Movies that were filmed here
By Mel McFarland
This time of year there are lots of old movies on TV, but there are a few that I watch because they were filmed around here. One or two are shown often on TV. Maybe you have seen them without knowing they were filmed here.
The oldest one I know of is "The Great K&A Train Robbery." It is a silent movie made right at the end of that era. It was filmed in the canyon of the Royal Gorge and starred Tom Mix. The film is a classic railroad Western.
One of the best known local movies is "The Incident," which was filmed about 15 years ago in Old Colorado City as well as downtown. Many of the scenes were shot in the Pioneers Museum. The courtrooms, offices hallways and elevator were used very creatively. In some of the scenes the employees even show up as extras. Rogers Bar, Rock Ledge Ranch, Fairview Cemetery and the old Alexander Film Works were also featured. It is fun to see how they jump around town! Maybe some of you were in it.
Pioneers Museum was also used for a movie called "Switchback." It is interesting that the name Colorado Springs does not appear in the credits. It seems that the movie has been retitled several times, and somewhere along the line they forgot where some key scenes were done. The museum is shown clearly on the outside, but the interiors were from Hollywood. The building is supposedly in Amarillo, Texas! They produced most of the second half of the film near Leadville.
Some 30 years ago a movie called "The Lawyer" used several locations downtown, including the brand-new, but unfinished library. Several buildings near the old Chief Theater were also used. These were torn down not long afterward. Several locations were used near Calhan. The film was used as a pilot for a television series, but the location was changed to Arizona.
Another locally made movie was done 50 years ago at what was then Camp Carson. Starring Robert Mitchum, it was a Korean War movie titled "One Minute To Zero." A few scenes were shot at the airport, but most were in an area just off 115. The Army maintained the little Korean village and regularly used it for training. The producers did a good job of not showing Pike's Peak, but Cheyenne Mountain appears several times.
Then there was the movie, "The Cowboys," one of many filmed near Canon City. You can plainly see Pike's Peak in the background throughout the movie!