Arts & Entertainment

Utah’s film legacy: New exhibit highlights a century of productions

UTAH — The Utah Film Commission is celebrating its 50th birthday this year, and is also celebrating a major milestone for Utah’s film industry, 100 years since its debut in the state. To honor the occasion, a new exhibit at the Utah State Capitol, “100 years of Film & Television” was unveiled on Jan. 11 and will run through the end of the year.

Located on the fourth floor of the capitol building, the exhibit will feature a variety of productions that have been filmed in the state. The entire exhibit is modeled after the book, “When Hollywood Came to Utah,” written by author James V. D’Arc. Each production that is spotlighted will feature the people and places that were the cornerstone of the films and television series.

“Over the last century, our landscapes have sparked the imaginations of some of the greatest storytellers in the world and have also inspired many to see these places for themselves,” said Virginia Pearce, director of the Utah Film Commission. “The 2024 celebration is an opportunity for all of us to celebrate not only the iconic film and television moments that were made in Utah but the people and places behind those moments.”

To give more access to those across the state, the Utah Film Commission is also curating a traveling extension in collaboration with the Utah Division of Arts and Museums. Soon to be launched, The Utah Historic Film Trail, will be a new way to give people an opportunity to immerse themselves into the films produced, all around Utah.

A recent survey from 2023 cited 37% of tourists chose to travel to Utah because of the films produced there, all in all providing an estimated $6 billion in spending in the state over the last 10 years.

“Utah’s splendor is undeniable, and its century-long journey in film is a testament to that. Unparalleled scenery, breathtaking landscapes, and a vibrant creative community are what drew me to this region,” said Kevin Costner, a Hollywood icon.

“It was that beauty alone that created the foundation of my movie.” Costner has filmed numerous projects in Utah, including the upcoming, multi-part film “Horizon: An American Saga.”

Notable films, and TV series, that have been produced in Utah include: “Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid,” “Thelma & Louise,” the “Yellowstone” series, and “Westworld” series, among thousands of others.

To learn more about the exhibit and the productions being featured, visit the Utah Film Commission website.

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