Hotel That Inspired Stephen King’s The Shining to Become Horror Museum

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by Melissa Ragsdale

The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado — famous for inspiring The Overlook Hotel in classic horror novel The Shining — has announced plans to develop the world’s first horror museum, film production studio, and film archive.

Known as The Stanley Film Center, the project would include a 30,000 square-foot interactive museum, a 500-seat auditorium, traveling exhibits (including “The Walking Dead” based on the film work of Charlie Adlard), a sound stage, and a post-production studio. Partnering with the Colorado Film School, the center aims to create an educational platform for both students and the public. It would be a non-profit, private-public partnership, with a founding board that includes George Romero, Simon Pegg, Elijah Wood, Mick Garris, Josh Waller and Daniel Noah.

The Stanley Hotel

The Stanley Hotel

In order to launch the center, The Stanley Hotel estimates a total cost of $24 million. They’re asking for $11.5 million from the state of Colorado’s tourism fund, which is currently pending approval.

In 1974, Stephen King and his wife were the only guests at The Stanley Hotel, staying the night in Room 217. After a disquieting evening roaming the empty hallways, King went to bed and had a nightmare:

“I dreamed of my three-year-old son running through the corridors, looking back over his shoulder, eyes wide, screaming. He was being chased by a fire hose. I woke up with a tremendous jerk, sweating all over, within an inch of falling out of bed. I got up, lit a cigarette, sat in a chair looking out the window at the Rockies, and by the time the cigarette was done, I had the bones of the book firmly set in my mind. “

After the book was published in 1977, The Shining was adapted for film by Stanley Kubrick, becoming a classic of the genre.

“There’s really no better place for there to be a permanent home for the celebration of horror as an art form than the Stanley Hotel,” says Elijah Wood. “It was practically built for it.”

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