Lone Pine Film Festival celebrates 25 years this weekend.
This weekend, more than 2,000 western film buffs will descended on Hollywood’s back lot – Lone Pine – for the 25th annual Film Festival. The festival is the only one in the country that is held on location where western, adventure, drama, and sci-fi films and TV shows were actually shot. More than 400 of them since 1915.
The three-day festival runs through Sunday, featuring thirteen guided tours of filming locations in the Alabama Hills. The festival starts with the screening of the Spencer Tracy classic, Bad Day At Black Rock. Following the screening will be a guided car caravan to the filming locations.
This year’s theme focuses on Clayton Moore, who played the Lone Ranger in films and TV serials. His daughter, Dawn Moore, will take part in a celebrity panel discussion on her father’s career. He would have been 100-years old this year.
The stunt coordinator for TV’s top-rated NCIS, Diamond Farnsworth, will host a panel on stunt work in the movies, showing many stunt scenes filmed in the area.
Other tours include the original site of the Bar 20 Ranch, the location for Hopalong Cassidy and his gang of good guys. A multitude of films were shot on the Anchor, Lubkin, and Spainhower ranches with stars like Tim Holt, Audie Murphy, Roy Rogers, and John Wayne. (Wayne’s last filmed appearance was for a Great Western Bank commercial, shot in the Alabamas.)
Autograph sessions and the annual Arts and Crafts Fair will be ongoing throughout the weekend. New exhibits are in place at the Lone Pine Film Museum, hub of the Columbus Day weekend activities. Special sets and memorabilia have been added for Hopalong Cassidy, Randolph Scott, academy award-winning director William Wellman, and a tribute to the singing cowboys.
Other celebrities attending and presenting panel discussions are Bruce Boxleitner (How the West Was Won), Cheryl Rogers-Barnett (daughter of Roy Rogers and Dale Evans), Johnny Crawford (Chuck Connors’ son on TV’s Rifleman), Ed Faulkner (co-stared in six films with John Wayne), and the Queen of the B Westerns – leading lady, Peggy Stewart.
“Cowboy Up” will be the slogan for the 8th annual Team Roping Competition. 30 teams from around Southern California and Nevada will compete at the Rodeo Grounds (behind the museum) on Saturday. The event starts 8:30 a.m.
The whole town turns out for the Parade of Celebrities on Sunday at 1 p.m. KIBS will braodcast live in front of McDonalds from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., where most of the celebrities will be showing up for live interviews.
The festival concludes on Sunday with a cowboy campfire, music, and cowboy poet Larry Maurice at 7 p.m. in Spainhower Park.
Tickets to many tours and events are still available. The ticket office is located just off Highway 395 on Autry Lane, next to the VFW Hall. Or contact the festival hot line at 760.876.9103. Visit lonepinefilmfestival.org for complete details.
Ken Harrison has attended the last ten Lone Pine Film Festivals. He will return as MC for the festival’s 5th Annual Karaoke Contest on Saturday, October 11 at 9:30 p.m. at the Mt Whitney Restaurant. Harrison is also one of three parade announcers. His announcing position is in front of the Portal Motel, where the parade begins.