The ax that Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) used to torture his family in “The Shining” officially will be the centerpiece of the new Stanley Film Center in Estes Park, Colorado. The iconic prop from Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 film based on Stephen King’s novel sold for a reported $175,000 at auction.
An anonymous buyer has donated the ax to the Stanley Film Center, a major film and music entertainment complex in development on the grounds of the iconic Stanley Hotel, which inspired Stephen King’s “The Shining.” In addition to being a multi-genre film and music venue, the center will have a museum that celebrates the horror film genre. The Stanley Film Center is a non-profit funded in part by a Colorado State Regional Tourism grant.
“I can’t think of anything more appropriate than this piece of film history to start the museum’s collection,” incoming Stanley Film Center CEO Rand Harrington told IndieWire. “This is the first of many exciting announcements we expect to make.”
The Stanley Hotel has a long and storied connection to “The Shining.” King stayed in room 217 at the hotel and was inspired to write the novel based on the mountainside hotel. For the book, the Stanley Hotel is renamed the Overlook.
Construction for The Stanley Film Center is currently underway with a planned opening in the Spring of 2024. The ax will be incorporated into tours at the Stanley Hotel until the film center opens.
“The Shining” spurred sequel “Doctor Sleep” in 2019, as well as the documentary “Room 237” in which “Shining” buffs puzzled over the film’s many clues, symbols, and red herrings.
“The Shining” is recognized as one of the best films of all time, despite its mixed reviews upon release. The film was back in the news earlier this year when the Razzies rescinded star Shelley Duvall’s Worst Actress award. Kubrick notoriously tormented the actress to elicit her terrified performance.
The film marked its 40th anniversary in May 2020.