‘Wild’ — perfect formula for success in Colorado | PostIndependent.com

‘Wild’ — perfect formula for success in Colorado

Moviegoers trickle into the Crystal Theatre in Carbondale on Tuesday night to see "Wild." The film
Jessica Cabe / Post Independent |

CARBONDALE — About 30 people trickled into the Crystal Theatre on Tuesday night to catch “Wild,” a very Colorado-friendly film that is entering its fifth week at the theater.

“Wild” isn’t set in Colorado, but its premise is one that connects with the outdoors enthusiasts who flock to the valley.

That’s Crystal Theatre co-owner Kathy Ezra’s theory for the film’s success, anyway.

“The fact that it has an outdoor theme gets attention around here,” Ezra said. “She hiked for 1,000 miles alone, which people find interesting.”

When the movie opened Dec. 26, the 125-seat Crystal sold out several shows, and extended the film’s run twice.

The film is based on the 2012 best-selling memoir “Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail” by Cheryl Strayed. The book — which was, notably, the first selection for Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 in June 2012 — describes Strayed’s 1,100-mile hike from the Mojave Desert to Washington.

Strayed was not some wilderness fanatic; she was a normal woman who enjoyed a nice hike now and then. She took on the Pacific Crest Trail as a way to face her demons: the death of her mother, her heroin addiction and a divorce brought on by her infidelity.

“I think it’s just a good movie,” said Molly Berger, a Carbondale resident who saw “Wild” for the first time Tuesday. “I would love to be able to attempt to do that. I was thinking it during the movie: I would love to have the motivation to do that, and I really like it as an idea, but I could never execute that.”

Berger saw the movie with Steven Colby, also of Carbondale, who said he gets why “Wild” might draw in Colorado’s outdoors-loving residents, but it has a wider appeal than that.

“I don’t think it’s a Colorado movie,” he said. “Maybe everybody needed a chance to see it.”

And for residents of the valley, the only chance to see it was at the Crystal, which tends to show films that Movieland and Brenden Rifle may pass up.

While it’s not unprecedented for a movie to play for even six weeks at the Crystal, “Wild”’s run has been longer than most. Ezra said the Crystal’s longest-running movie was “The Full Monty,” which played for eight weeks in 1997. Other films that saw four to six weeks at the theater include “The Grand Budapest Hotel” last year, “The King’s Speech” in 2010 and “Across the Universe” in 2007.

“I’ve only lived in Colorado for maybe three years, so I haven’t really gotten into the outdoors thing, so I was kind of curious,” Berger said.

Starting on Friday, “The Imitation Game” will be the main feature at the Crystal, but the curious can still see “Wild” at 7:30 p.m. today and at 5 p.m. Saturday.

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