The real Overlook Hotel to host a special screening of The Shining

The real Overlook Hotel to host a special screening of The Shining

The real location for the Overlook Hotel is rolling out the proverbial red carpet (or maybe they’ll stretch to a red, orange and brown hexagonal carpet) to welcome guests for a screening of Stanley Kubrick’s classic horror The Shining

Timberline Lodge, the exterior of The Overlook Hotel in The Shining
Timberline Lodge, the exterior of The Overlook Hotel in The Shining

This one-off special screening of the 1980 film (an adaptation of Stephen King’s novel) will take place at The National Historic Timberline Lodge, at Mt Hood in Oregon, USA – the very hotel which was used as the exterior establishing shots of the wintry Overlook Hotel in Kubrick’s film. 

The Timberline Lodge today
The Timberline Lodge today

The Shining sees Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson), his wife Wendy (Shelley Duvall) and son Danny (Danny Lloyd) arrive at the Overlook Hotel at the end of the season to begin their job as winter caretakers, just as the guests are all leaving. In their tour of the hotel by Mr. Ullman, Danny is told that the hotel has a bad history

The film screening organised by On Set Cinema, will take place on 1 December 2019 and ticket holders will have access to the hotel grounds for the day, as well as the interior of the lodge (the Cascade dining room, Ram’s Head Bar & Restaurant, Wy’East Café, Y’Bar, history exhibit, gift shop, game room) and also, if they dare, stay the night.

The lobby of The Overlook Hotel in The Shining

Whilst the Timberline Lodge was the iconic exterior of the Overlook Hotel, the interiors of the hotel in the film were influenced by the interiors of  the Ahwahnee Hotel at Yosemite and were filmed on recreated sets at Elstree Studios, Hertfordshire, UK (where part of the Timberline Lodge was also recreated in a backlot for further exterior shots).

A recent picture showing the interior of The Ahwahnee Hotel which influenced the interiors of the Overlook Hotel

The influence for King’s original novel was another hotel altogether – the aptly named The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park Colorado, USA (named after Freelan Oscar Stanley, the inventor of the steam-powered car, who built the hotel). Some time in 1974, King and his wife spent a night at The Stanley Hotel (in room 217) at the time when King was struggling with Darkshine as the working title. The events of the book had at first been set in an amusement park but he felt a more isolated setting was necessary.

The Stanley Hotel

His imagination was ignited by his stay in such a remotely located hotel. King has talked of his night in The Stanley: “I dreamed of my three-year-old son running through the corridors, looking back over his shoulder, eyes wide, screaming…” adding that once he awoke “I had the bones of The Shining firmly set in my mind.”

The Shining’s Overlook Hotel corridor

Kubrick’s vision for the movie differed significantly from King’s in many ways, including the portrayal of the Overlook Hotel for which he cast the Timberline Lodge (built 1936-38). Room 217 was changed to Room 237 in the film at the request of the hotel, fearful that guests would refuse to stay in their Room 217 if it were featured in a horror movie. A letter to this effect is exhibited in the current Stanley Kubrick: The Exhibition at The Design Museum, London.

As an earlier Film and Furniture article shows, there will be many references to The Shining’s Overlook Hotel in the forthcoming sequel Doctor Sleep.

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