August 15, 2006:
A question being asked a lot during this year around Lone Pine is when will the Film History Museum be finished. The answer from the folks behind the project is "Never."
The answer for the question might seem a little facetious but the explanation makes sense. Hopefully, a museum is a living, growing organism, not a static, unchanging building of old dusty artifacts. History is a living story and the Board of Directors and volunteers intend for the Beverly and Jim Rogers Museum of Lone Pine Film History to be different each time a visitor returns.When the Museum was dedicated in June, many of the exhibits were just prototypes, indications of what material and content items and text would be in that particular area. Already, modifications have begun and Chris Langley, Executive Director and Claiborne Mitchell, the new director of the museum who is now on-board, are changing exhibits, rethinking how to tell the story of filming in Inyo County since it began in 1915.
Actually, the history is also growing as new research continues to uncover more information about the activities of Hollywood here particularly in the early years. Langley's regular columns in The Inyo Register have described this early history, pushing the date of the beginning of filming back to 1915 in the area and uncovering additional films that filmed scenes here before 1920.
As far as the museum building itself is concerned, recently the sidewalks and curbs were poured and this week the asphalt for the parking lots is being added, giving the museum the finished look. Additional neon will be added to the façade as well.
Inside three full-scale resin horses, lifelike in detail, have been added to the exhibit area. They will be used to display silver parade saddles that have been loaned from the James E. Rogers collection. Since the dedication on June 17th, six framed three sheets; a large six sheet and other posters from the Rogers collection have also been mounted in the lobby area. By the middle of August, installation of all the theater projection equipment, screen and curtains will be completed and regular showings of the museum orientation film The Reel West will begin as well as additional movie screenings for locals and visitors alike.
The Museum store will be open Monday through Saturday from 12 until 4 after the parking lot is finished and often there are personnel all day and the doors unlocked for those who want to stop in and take a peek at the exhibit construction often underway.
Besides, the Museum has the best air conditioning in town these hot summer days.