The World’s First Horror-Film Theme Park

Shining twins

Known to most of the world as the labyrinthine inspiration for Stephen King’s novel The Shining (which was of course the basis for Stanley Kubrick’s iconic 1980 adaptation), the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado, is about to get a fearsome makeover. The horror landmark, which first opened its doors 106 years ago, already attracts thousands of visitors a year and hosts an annual horror-themed film festival. But now, just in time for Halloween, the hotel’s management has announced that plans are under way to turn the historic location into a full-fledged cultural institution, describing the proposed Stanley Film Center in a press release as “the world’s first horror-themed museum, film archive, and film production studio.”

If completed (the hotel is awaiting word on $11.5 million in state funds requested for the project), the center would become a one-stop destination for fright-fantasy fulfillment, boasting a three-thousand-square-foot sound stage, as well as classrooms, workshops, editing suites, and a lot more. “There's really no better place for there to be a permanent home for the celebration of horror as an art form,” said actor/producer Elijah Wood, who will sit on the center’s founding board alongside some of the genre’s most prominent devotees and practitioners, such as legendary horror director George A. Romero. “It was practically built for it,” Wood added.

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