Pin it

November 14, 2005:

Dave Holland died on Monday, November 14 after a brave fight against cancer. He was surrounded by his wife Holly and close, long-time friends Dave and Kirsten Smirnoff at his home.

Dave was a friend of many in Lone Pine and around the world, having been a co-founder of the Lone Pine Film Festival in 1990, and an author and film historian with a special focus on the B westerns.

dave holland 1a.jpgDave was born on January 22, 1935 in Raleigh , North Caroilina and grew up in Birmingham, Alabama.He moved to Los Angeles in 1938 after two years at Auburn University.. Dave had many jobs during his life including photographic journalist in the Navy, Theatrical Press Agent, and Unit Production Manager. It was while working on location on commercials in the Lone Pine area that Dave recognized several landscapes from B westerns he had watched several times. This discovery led him to purchase movie stills from classic films and westerns, then come on location to the Alabama Hills to find the exct location where the camera was placed.

As his discoveries found during weekends spent roaming the scenic area accumulated, he made friends with local residents and the idea of a film festival focused on this unique history was created. Local resident Kerry Powell was the first Festival director in 1990, and Dave supplied the knowledge of locations, contacts with Hollywood and the event management expertise to begin the first film festival. Present director Chris Langley met with the team before that first event. Several local businesspersons have been deeply involved over the years, including Dow Villa owners Jeanne Willey and Lynne Bunn, Frotnier Best Western owner Ray Powell, Dean and Bev Vander Wall, Dorothy Bonnefin, and Jaque Hickman.

"Dave was the greatest thing that ever happened to the Lone Pine Film Festival," regular guest Loren Janes, a founder of the Stuntmen's Association of motion pictures said in the L.A. Times last week. " He had great enthusiasm for Lone Pine and these films."

Kerry Powell commented, "Dave was the film festival, basically. He couldn't have done it without hundreds of volunteers, but he had a lot of ideas. He put it together, and we all backed him up as best we could."

dave holland 4c.jpgChris Langley remarked, "Dave was very generous with his time, sharing his knowledge and enthusiasm with all of us. He was in his element when he was hiking up in the rocks looking for specific movie sites. Now, it is common on almost any weekend to run into film enthusiasts following in his footsteps looking for favorite movie locations."

The success of the Festival attracted the attention of Jim Rogers of Sunbelt Communications, who suggested a museum. While initial planning for the project was done by Holland, he moved to Santa Clarita in 2003 to be nearer his children. While the museum is in final construction, Dave Holland did not live to see this dream come true.

His passion for Lone Pine films and "The Alabama Rocks" will be missed by all who came in contact with him over the years. The Festival he began and the museum he dreamed about for many years will be his legacy.



Contact Info

The Museum of Western Film History
701 S. Main Street
Lone Pine, CA 93545