"Silver City’ rolls through Lake County | VailDaily.com

"Silver City’ rolls through Lake County

Roger Peterson
Leadville Chronicle/Roger Peterson

LEADVILLE – Death took a holiday in Leadville last week.

Shouts of “Action!”, “Roll cameras!” and “Cut!” echoed through the brick and glass canyon of Harrison Ave. over the weekend as Mexico’s ancient death fiesta made its way along Leadville’s main street.

Saturday’s event was part of an invasion of sorts last week when the 100-member cast and crew of a film entitled “Silver City” came to town and called Leadville home for the next seven days. Among its members were Director John Sayles and Producer Maggie Renzi, along with numerous screen stars, including Chris Cooper, Darryl Hannah, Richard Dreyfus, Richard Gammon, Danny Houston, Mexican actress Alma del Fina, Luis Saguar of San Francisco and Denver actors Aaron Vieyra and Hugo Carbajal.

Arriving last Wednesday, the team went right to work shooting a scene at the Leadville Eagles Hall, followed by another in Finntown, located in the mining district east of the city. Twin Lakes was the scene of filming both Thursday and Friday, featuring scenes with Dreyfus and Gammon.

Perhaps the most colorful and accessible scene to the public was the “Day of the Dead” parade reproduced Saturday morning on Harrison Ave. Despite the 20-degree morning temperatures, filming came off without a hitch. The public enjoyed the opportunity to watch and get autographs from actress Darryl Hannah.

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Such a parade apparently has never taken place in Leadville, despite the town’s large Hispanic population. The parade showcased the annual Mexican celebration held each November in honor of the dead. Location and casting director Kathleen Broyles said she received positive comments from local residents thanking her for putting on the parade.

Sunday was a day off for the cast and crew, some of whom did laundry or rested, while others watched football games on television, toured the area or enjoyed Leadville’s restaurants and coffee houses.

Filming continued Monday with a scene in Vail and a nighttime shoot in Leadville at a vacant building-turned-tattoo-parlor on West Sixth. On Tuesday, cameramen shot footage at Annunciation Church and again at Finntown. The National Mining Hall was the scene of shooting Wednesday.

Leadville was the scene of the sixth and final week of filming for “Silver City.” The previous five weeks of work took place in Denver. One final scene, shot there Thursday, brought filming to a close. The film will likely be released late next summer.

Broyles was impressed with the vintage character of Leadville and the eagerness and respect locally-selected “extras” demonstrated during the Leadville sequence.

“People were very attentive to the directors,” she said. “They didn’t complain about the long hours or the cold and were willing to learn about the process rather than be the center of attention. I feel it was a great experience for everybody. Leadville has its own magic and it’s unique. Everyone loves Leadville now.”

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