Vail Today: Vail Winterfest celebrates season with outdoor theater (video) |

Vail Today: Vail Winterfest celebrates season with outdoor theater (video)

Vail Today's Tricia Swenson talks with Paul Wertin, of Alpine Ice, right, about the 10th annual Vail Winterfest Ice Theater.
Andrew Taylor | Special to the Daily |

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The town of Vail’s Art in Public Places invites you to view movies in a different way this winter. Along Gore Creek, you’ll find some of your favorite animations illuminated on an ice screen.

Art in Public Places once again welcomes the 10th annual Vail Winterfest Ice Theater, presented by Kent and Vicki Logan. Paul Wertin, of Alpine Ice, and his crew worked against the clock to have the movie screen and oversized ice couch and chairs ready to go for this season’s debut on Wednesday, Dec. 21.

“It took four of us six days to build it. We were delayed a day due to warm weather, but we managed to catch up and get it done on time,” Wertin said.

One block of ice is 300 pounds and spans 10 inches wide, 20 inches high and 40 inches in length. How is ice to work with as a medium?

“Great! It’s very strong and resilient, and you can see through it when you are cutting through the center,” Wertin said.

Originally conceived by Art in Public Places for Vail’s 50th anniversary, the Ice Theater’s popularity has brought it back in subsequent years.

“The response has been so positive and it’s very interactive. People love getting their picture taken in front of the screen or in one of the big chairs. Kids even sit on the snow and watch the movie for a while,” said Molly Eppard, Art in Public Places coordinator.

During the holidays, classics such as “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” are playing on screen. In the past, Vail’s 50th anniversary highlights and clips from Vail featured throughout the years in Warren Miller films have also been shown. Other winter-themed animations such as “Frozen” and “Happy Feet” are set to run, as well.

Projection begins daily at dusk until 10 p.m. and will be on view until the ice melts.

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