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Most Sundance fans won’t see Park City’s ghosts

Film-fest host town was once a wild, gritty little place, and it was the best era to live and work there.

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"There’s only one place to bury a dog," he said, "and that’s in your heart."

That was right after Steven Soderbergh hit it big with his 1989 film "sex, lies, and videotape." The director, who had been volunteering as a driver during the festival, suddenly became the prince of Hollywood. And Sundance and independent film were the new "It."

At a glance

Sundance Film Festival

When » Thursday, Jan. 17 through Sunday, Jan. 27

Where » Multiple locations in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden and Sundance Resort

Tickets » http://www.sundance.org/festival/tickets/how/

More » Read complete coverage at sltrib.com/entertainment and sltrib.com/Blogs/sundanceblog

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At the same time, Utah and Park City were gaining notice and support for a Winter Olympic bid.

And if that weren’t enough, developers unveiled plans that would transform the lonely Kimball Junction into a sprawling commercial center.

The world was spinning faster and faster, and something scary was peeking over the horizon.

At first light, it began to rain and the phone rang. It was Hunter S. Thompson devotee Todd Gabler calling for Leslie on one of the very first cellphones. He had chained himself to a backhoe at the Kimball Junction Kmart construction site and needed a sleeping bag and a Thermos of coffee — quick.

His gutsy protest against the future, unfortunately, didn’t hold things back for long. Still, we were lucky to have lived in Park City during that time. We loved that crazy little place. And maybe that’s why we buried it in our hearts.


Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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