By Ben Olson
There are few personalities more recognizable to skiers than Warren Miller. Laid back, genial and at times goofy, Miller’s commentary on his annual ski films has heralded the upcoming ski season for generations.
Born in Hollywood during the roaring ’20s, Miller enlisted in the U.S. Navy, serving in the South Pacific until his discharge in 1946. His first time filming skiing occurred in 1944, when he borrowed a camera while vacationing in Yosemite. He never looked back.
After leaving the Navy, Miller moved to Sun Valley, Idaho, to live in a trailer with a friend while they worked as ski instructors. In their free time, the pair filmed themselves skiing, alternately spending summers filming each other surfing. The pair showed their films at parties with accompanying commentary, leading to the very first Warren Miller ski film to be released in 1949 — a tradition that has continued to this day, including at the Panida Theater, with a screening of Winter Starts Now scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 6.
Miller passed away in 2018, but leaves behind an annual legacy of passion and fun for winter sports, which Sandpoint snow sports — and film — enthusiasts know all too well.
Winter Starts Now
The 72nd annual Warren Miller ski film
Saturday, Nov. 6; doors at 6:30 p.m., show at 7 p.m.; $15. Panida Theater, 300 N. First Ave., 208-263-9191, panida.org. With COVID-19 restrictions in place, only 200 tickets will be sold for the show.
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