PHOTO ESSAY: Premier of ‘Hostiles’ at Liberty Theater

We have several new celebrities in our midst. A casting call — for a feature movie — sent to the Pagosa Springs Chamber of Commerce in August 2016 sent dozens of Pagosa characters to Chama, NM for a full day of cinema magic on September 20, 2016.

Major stars, a talented army of creatives from the big city. All the attentions of a professional production… make-up, wardrobe, photographer, director, carpenters, gaffers, grips… leaned into our townspeople. A big deal. Very exciting stuff.

Finally the long awaited Premier night. It was the talk of the town: the January 25 premier of Hostiles at Liberty Theater (est. 1919). The Red Carpet. What to wear, who will be there? How will the final cut pan out? Anxious anticipation was in the air. Some of the invitation-only VIPs arrived more than 30 minutes early for the opening.

The line went down the block when the doors opened. A day before the national premier, Hostiles opening nite was about to start. Angela Wirth and her helpers shared hors d’oeuvres and champagne. Liberty Theater staff sold delicious popcorn and all the traditional movie delectables for an especially unique premier movie night. Plenty of smiles.

Ms. Wirth welcomed everyone and announced her intention to find a permanent place for photos and the guest book of autographs collected on premiere night. She also read a letter from Elizabeth Gabel, the casting director for the movie.

“We were so happy that everyone came out to work with us. The movie turned out beautifully and everyone was very happy with the scenes, especially the director. The Pagosa people were fantastic and everyone showed up, which is unusual. I wish I could send a big thank you card to everyone!”

Altogether, just another splendid evening in our quiet little town…


Jeff Laydon

Pagosa Springs photographer Jeff Laydon shoots people, places and products — on location and in his studio. Learn more at