You might not think of Colorado as Hollywood East, but a surprising number of movies have been filmed in the Centennial State.
In the last few years alone, stars such as Kevin Bacon, Vin Diesel, Jane Fonda and Robert Redford have not just filmed in Colorado, but also the Pikes Peak region.
If you think you saw Bacon getting “Footloose” in Colorado Springs, you just might be right. While in town filming a movie in 2015 (more on that later), he was spotted at The Broadmoor, The Mining Exchange and getting coffee at The Perk Downtown.
Here’s a list of 14 of the most star-studded movies filmed in Colorado along with their shooting locations.
“True Grit” (1969)
Much of the movie was filmed in and around Ouray, including the courtroom scenes. Maddie Ross’ ranch and McAllester’s Store are both off Colorado 62 near Last Dollar Road. The field where Rooster Cogburn faced down Ned Pepper’s gang is actually Deb’s Meadow near the summit of Owl Creek Pass. The hanging scene was at Hartwell Park in Ridgway.
“Independence Day” (1996)
Many of the military scenes were shot at Peterson Air Force base in Colorado Springs.
“Dumb and Dumber” (1994)
Much of Harry and Lloyd’s cross-country journey, including highways, fast-food joints and truck stops, were filmed in the Fort Morgan area. Their original arrival in Aspen is actually Breckenridge’s Main Street. Estes Park’s Stanley Hotel serves as both the exterior for their stay in Aspen and the bar is where Lloyd waited in vain for Mary Swanson. Harry and Mary go skiing at the Copper Mountain Resort.
“Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” (1969)
Butch and Sundance rob the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railway on more than one occasion. They jump into the river at the Trimble Bridge over the Animas River. The Animas River gorge and the town of Silverton were also the location for additional scenes.
“The Prestige” (2006)
Yet another film that made use of Colorado’s historic railways, with the train scenes coming from the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railway. The historic Redstone Castle near Carbondale was where the Colorado scenes were set, although in the movie it was depicted as being in Colorado Springs.
The movie begins at a futuristic “house” that is actually the Church of the Risen Christ in Denver. Several scenes are shot around the iconic Sculptured House of Genesee, which can be seen from I-70. Boulder’s Brenton House, Greenwood Village’s Varner House and the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder are featured in other scenes. Watch for the futuristic McDonald’s, which is actually the Mile Hi Church in Lakewood.
“Die Hard 2” (1990)
Stapleton International Airport, which has since been redeveloped, was the stand-in for Washington Dulles Airport where most of “Die Hard 2” takes place. The church where the villain set up his paramilitary headquarters was the Highland Lake Church near Mead.
“National Lampoon’s Vacation” (1983)
Clark first sees the beautiful woman in the Ferrari, played by supermodel Christie Brinkley, on U.S. 50 in Avondale, just outside Pueblo. Cousin Eddie’s house is on Apple Road in Boone, also near Pueblo. The Griswolds stay at Kamp Komfort, which is actually South Fork’s Riverbend Resort. The drive-in restaurant that the Griswolds stop at was an old Sonic in Alamosa, and the cop pulls them over after dragging the dog on County Road 124 near Hesperus.
“Blades of Glory” (2007)
The exteriors for “Grublets on Ice” are at the Moby Arena on the campus of Colorado State University in Fort Collins. The competition scenes were filmed at the Pepsi Center.
“Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” (1989)
The desert train scene is from the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad in Antonito. The circus train is on the Durango to Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. Other scenes were shot in Alamosa, Pagosa Springs and Cortez.
“Cop Car” (2015)
Jon Watts, a Fountain native and Fountain-Fort Carson graduate, directed this film starring Kevin Bacon in a variety of spots around Colorado Springs and Fountain. Bacon was seen around town during the 12-day shoot, including on the Manitou Incline.
“Our Souls at Night” (2017)
The film is based on the novel of the same name by Kent Haruf. It’s set in the fictional Colorado town of Holt, which is on the plains. An area of Old Colorado City was used instead. Jane Fonda stayed at The Broadmoor during filming.
“The Mule” (2018)
Clint Eastwood’s most recent film is primarily set in Georgia and wasn’t originally supposed to have scenes in Colorado. A last minute change by Eastwood in scenes where he’s driving across the country were moved to the Centennial State.
The Academy Award winner has filmed in Colorado before. Much of “Any Which Way But Loose” (1978) was filmed in Colorado.
“Furious 7” (2015)
Filming locations include Pikes Peak, Monarch Pass and Salida. The “Fast and Furious” team spent several weeks filming in Colorado in October 2013.
Doug Fitzgerald contributed to this story.