Utah’s golden spike celebration goes to the movies

(Photo courtesy Paramount) Cecil B. DeMille's 1943 movie "Union Pacific" was very loosely based on the building of the transcontinental railroad.

The scores of events planned in Utah to mark the 150th anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad include these film screenings.

“The Chinese Exclusion Act” • This 2018 documentary from filmmakers Ric Burns and Li-Shin Yu — which aired on PBS — recounts the history of anti-Chinese immigration in the United States. The 1882 Exclusion Act prohibited all immigration from China; it was not repealed until 1943.

When • Thursday, May 2, 7 p.m.

Where • Jim Santy Auditorium, 1255 Park Ave., Park City

Tickets • Free

“Resilience and the Last Spike” • This made-in-Utah movie opens with the 1869 ceremony to celebrate the completion of the transcontinental railroad, and follows a group of Chinese laborers who disappear while transporting precious gems to California. The scene then switches to the present day, where an 11-year-old girl is separated from her family and lost in the Utah desert.

When • Friday, May 10-Sunday, May 19

Where • Larry H. Miller Megaplex theaters

Tickets • Available at box offices and at megaplextheatres.com

“Union Pacific” • Barbara Stanwyck and Joel McCrea star in director Cecil B. DeMille’s 1939 film about the struggle to build the transcontinental railroad. This Western features bad guys, stampeding buffaloes, attacking American Indians and very little in the way of historical accuracy — although the golden spike used is the actual golden spike from 1869 that was loaned to DeMille by Stanford University. Presented by the Utah Film Center, with a post-film discussion with film historian James D’Arc, moderated by KUER’s RadioWest host Doug Fabrizio.

When • Wednesday, May 15

Where • Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center, 138 W. 300 South

Tickets • Free