Silver Screen: The Shining

By Carla Charter

The Shining the Stephen King based movie about long winters and glamorous hotels shut up for the season brings to mind crazy Jack Nicholson characters and beautiful iconic hotel scenes. The Overlook hotel although beautiful on the outside movie goers know housed a large Stephen King sized terror inside.

Where was the actual Overlook Hotel though?  It turns out almost the entire film was shot at Elstree Studios in Hertfordshire, England.  Despite this though, the infamous hotel does have some American connections.

King was inspired to write the Shining after a visit to the Stanley Hotel in Colorado. Although not used in the movie the hotel has been featured in The Shining mini-series as well as the film Dumb and Dumber.

The exterior scenes of the Overlook Hotel for the Shining were actual scenes of the Timberline Lodge, at Mount Hood in Northern Oregon. There is no maze at the Timberline, that too was built England.

According to the lodge, Kubrick was asked not to depict room #217, which was featured in the book, for fear that future guests at the lodge would be afraid to stay there. So a non-existent # 237 was substituted in the film. Ironically, they continued, Room #217 is requested more than any other at the hotel by guests.

The interior sets although again created and filmed in England were based on the Ahwahnee Hotel, now called Majestic Yosemite Hotel in Yosemite National Park in California.  Inside the hotel lobby, visitors will find the cavernous ceilings, Native American-inspired patterns, and even the frightening red-doored elevators from the movie.


Fans who would like more information on the hotels that inspired The Shining both the books and the movies can visit the following websites.

Stanley Hotel –

Majestic Yosemite Hotel –

Timberline Lodge –