Vilar Performing Arts Center’s executive director talks upcoming shows in Beaver Creek |

Vilar Performing Arts Center’s executive director talks upcoming shows in Beaver Creek

Free screening of 'They Shall Not Grow Old' on Memorial Day

The messaging of “They Shall Not Grow Old” is so powerful that the Vilar Performing Arts Center at Beaver Creek is presenting a free screening on Memorial Day.

The film, directed and produced by Academy Award-winner Peter Jackson, brings 100-year-old photos and film footage from World War I to life with state-of-the-art technology. While this time of year the Vilar Center usually closes its doors for maintenance, staff felt the need to present the film.

“It’s just one of these movies that we all felt pretty passionate about,” said Duncan Horner, executive director of the Vilar Center. “They’re basically taking all of this World War I footage and applying state-of-the-art technology to restore it, color it and apply 3-D technologies. It’s really gripping and feels like it’s set in today’s time almost just because of the technology applied to it.”

“They Shall Not Grow Old” boasts a 99% score on Rotten Tomatoes and received a rave review from the Associated Press with Lindsey Bahr calling it possible “the most honest collective account of the Great War that’s ever been committed to film.”

“They Shall Not Grow Old” is produced and directed by three-time Academy Award-winner Peter Jackson.
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Bringing stories ‘to light’

The screening is free, but seats are being reserved quickly, Horner said, adding he expects to see a lot of community members filling the seats on Memorial Day.

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It’s a unique event for the Vilar Center, both with the time of year and the medium — the 530-seat theater has showed films before, but not very often.

“We just felt it was important and the fact that it’s Memorial Day makes it a great time to present this to the community,” Horner said.

The film is rated R and runs 99 minutes. The showing starts at 4 p.m. on Memorial Day.

“It’s always hard to imagine when your grandfather’s telling you these stories about what it was like,” Horner said. “This movie really brings that to light.”

Coming to the Vilar Center

The Vilar Performing Arts Center at Beaver Creek is an intimate 530-seat venue.
Townsend Bessent | Daily file photos

The Vilar Center, located below the ice rink in Beaver Creek, doesn’t have another show scheduled until Cirque Goes to Hollywood on June 29. The rest of the summer schedule includes a variety of musical performances, the circus, comedy acts and more.

“It’s a heck of a season,” Horner said. “We’ve been really fortunate with the bookings this year and I think we’ve got a great variety and a little bit for everyone.”

With performances by Jay Leno, Michael McDonald, Joshua Bell and other high-profile shows, the summer series at the Vilar Center has shows coming from June through August.

“Personally I’m looking forward to Jose Gonzalez. I’ve heard a lot about his live performance and have never seen him live,” Horner said.

Gonzalez performs Aug. 24.

“Billy Strings is going to be playing the Friday before Labor Day at Oktoberfest here,” Horner added.

Strings is a popular bluegrass musician who is known for entertaining live performances.

“I’ve never seen Toots (& The Maytals), and they’re pretty legendary when it comes to reggae,” Horner said.

Toots & The Maytals perform July 26 at the Vilar Center.

“Buddy Guy — I’m a guitarist myself, and Buddy Guy is a legend himself,” Horner said. “To be able to see him here in this venue will really be special.”

For more information about upcoming shows at the Vilar Performing Arts Center, visit

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