Ear to the ground

"I walked into the front office and the smell nearly floored me. Trying desperately not to vomit at the smell of old cheap perfume, marijuana, incense, alcohol and urine, I asked if they had any rooms."

-An internet review of one of North Main’s more infamous lodging establishments

A visit to Tamalewood

A new sign inside Albuquerque’s International Sunport boasts, “Hollywood’s New Home.” The Land of Enchantment’s largest city is hoping to become the film industry’s next darling.

Albuquerque Studios, an emerging $74-million complex of sound stages south of the airport, is nearing completion. This year, four more sound stages will be added to the giant production center. The investment has prompted one newspaper to announce the creation of “Tamalewood.”

“This facility is second to none in the U.S.,” Chief Operating Officer Nick Smerigan told the Los Angeles Times. “Eventually, we’ll be a first call for people who are leaving L.A.” Sony Pictures is one of the first major players moving some of its operations from L.A. to Albuquerque. The studio’s Imageworks division plans to relocate much of its visual effects division to New Mexico. Meanwhile, Lions Gate Entertainment is building a new production center just outside Tamalewood, in Rio Rancho.

New Mexico has been aggressively courting the film industry. Albuquerque currently boasts 1,300 film industry workers courtesy of unprecedented subsidies, rebates and write-offs.

“We had a very simple strategy,” Gov. Bill Richardson told the Times. “Get ahead of every other state in terms of incentives, throw the kitchen sink at accommodating film companies — tax rebates, loans from the state, free state land, write-offs.”

A half century at the Belle

One of Durango's noteworthy ladies is turning 50 this week. The Diamond Belle Saloon is celebrating five decades in business at its corner location in the Strater Hotel.

Prior to 1957, the corner location housed the Strater's original saloon, the Strater-Thorpe Drug Store, the Turner Investment and Silver State Security Cos., and the Colorado Employment Agency. Fifty years ago, the owner's son pulled a fast one and restored the saloon while dad was in Arizona for the winter.

Since that time, a sign on the balcony has proudly read, "Work is the cruse of the drinking class." The Diamond Belle will celebrate 50 years with a variety of activities all week. Call 375-7150 for details.


In this week's issue...

January 25, 2024
Bagging it

State plastic bag ban is in full effect, but enforcement varies

January 26, 2024
Paper chase

The Sneer is back – and no we’re not talking about Billy Idol’s comeback tour.

January 11, 2024
High and dry

New state climate report projects continued warming, declining streamflows