Hollywood Southwest exhibit showcases New Mexico’s film history

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – It has a deep history, with roots dating back more than one hundred years.

New Mexico’s film industry is now part of an exhibit now open at the Albuquerque Museum for everyone to enjoy.

Many call it the Hollywood of the Southwest.

It dates back to the 1890’s with an Edison film shot at the Isleta Pueblo.

“Its’ a very simple film. It’s only about half a minute long and it just showed children coming in to a school house and coming right back out again,” Deb Slaney, History Curator said.

Since then, hundreds of films have been shot throughout the state.

“The first thing that you really encounter is this wall of posters, gives you kind of an idea of the breadth and the depth of the movie industry here,” Slaney said.

The Albuquerque museum is showcasing that history.

“This one that is airing right now is one that was done in 1916 when President Theodore Roosevelt visited Albuquerque,” explained Slaney

From the early days of the Kimo Theater, to the first films featuring Native Americans, the Wild West and Billy the Kid.

“It’s gone through up and flows and of course during the war era when people really need kind of an escape and during the 1950’s also westerns were very popular so we have westerns very predominately featured in this exhibition,”

Also, classic films, baring local names.

“It’s truly all about the light and the geography and the air and the environment of New Mexico that is so intriguing and attractive to film makers and has been throughout the last century and this century,” she said.

Most recently, Breaking Bad put Albuquerque on the map.

It was nominated for 262 awards and won 110.

On display, Walter White’s missing person’s sign, a hand-drawn Heisenberg portrait used in the series, Los Pollos Hermanos memorabilia, blue meth, and Tuco’s gold grill.

“And then on top of that you have these fabulous film incentives from the state that help bring film makers to Albuquerque.”

It’s a look back at a growing industry leaving a lasting impression in the state’s history.

The Land of Enchantment has ties to six Oscar nominated films this year, according to the Santa Fe New Mexican.

The Albuquerque Museum is holding special presentation surrounding the Hollywood Southwest exhibit, throughout the summer.