ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A lot of movies are shot in New Mexico, but they don’t all have their red carpet premieres here. Wednesday night, downtown Albuquerque got to play Hollywood. The red carpet was rolled out, and Central Avenue was closed for ’50 to 1,’ the movie about the New Mexico horse that took the Kentucky Derby by storm.
The movie profiles the story of 2009 Kentucky Derby winner, Mine That Bird, who is from New Mexico. Mine That Bird even made an appearance on the red carpet.
Movie stars were welcomed to the red carpet world premiere of 50 to 1 at the KiMo theater on Central.
“Its always been such a warm and open community and I think that’s a great place to show a film,” said Skeet Ulrich, who plays Chip Woolley in the movie.
The true story inspired by Roswell thoroughbred Mine That Bird, tells how the long-shot came to win the Kentucky Derby in 2009.
It’s a piece of history his owners are happy to share with the world again. “It’ll make you laugh, make you cry, its just a great movie, a great story of how it all happened from the beginning to the end,” explained Leonard Blach, co-owner of Mine That Bird.
The star horse drew quite the crowd in the middle of Central Avenue. The stars from the derby and the movie mingled amongst the mob that had gathered around the main character.
“I can tell you I’ve never been to a red carpet with a Kentucky Derby winner, never,” said Lea Thompson, whose daughter, Madelyn Deutch stars in the movie.
But even the big names said showing the movie in New Mexico first is special, since it’s home to the real characters. “When I met these guys I said you know what these are great characters, they’re flawed, they wear their hearts on their shoulders, they’re the real cowboys, they’re the real deal,” said Jim Wilson, Producer and Director of the film.
And, the movie was shot in and around New Mexico.
“Its kind of a love letter to New Mexico, its a New Mexican film and we used so many gorgeous scenery and backdrops and everything, and its kind of a love letter to the state,” said Todd Lowe, who plays Kelly in the movie.
The creators hope the story will have movie goers walk away feeling inspired.
“Hopefully this will help people pick themselves up by their bootstraps and keep at it,” said Ulrich.
“This is an underdog story, this is Rocky you know, all these guys were pretty much 50 to 1 going into this thing and thats why its always fun to root for the guy that has no shot at all,” said Christian Kane, who plays Mark Allen in the movie. “And every single character in this movie including Mine That Bird is that guy.”
Central was closed off from 4th Street to 5th Street from about 5 p.m. to midnight. Wednesday’s guest list was invite-only, but the public will be able to see the movie in theaters starting this Friday.