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Movie to raise preservation awareness

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In 2006, a group of bridge-playing senior citizens, ages 77 to 94, got up from their bridge table and posed as centerfolds for a Courthouse Girls Calendar to help save the Randolph County, Ind., courthouse from destruction.

It was a move not without controversy, but also full of humor, and a film about the calendar girls will be shown at the Salt Lake City Library Monday at 7 p.m. The free showing of "Courthouse Girls of Farmland" is sponsored by the Utah Heritage Foundation, the SLC Film Center and AARP.

The film, which has been shown around the country and won the first-place Audience Award at the Breckenridge Festival of Film in June, has ties to Utah.

The fact that Salt Lake writer and co-producer Angela E. Soper's mother was Miss October in the calendar inspired Soper to make the film. Director of the documentary is Utah resident Norman Klein.

But the Utah Heritage Foundation also hopes it might inspire help and interest in preserving the Davis County Courthouse. The 1890 Classical Revival style courthouse in Farmington is considered a treasure on many levels, but after a recent structural study, discussions by the Davis County Commission have indicated demolition might be a possibility, notes the foundation.

The film presentation will be followed by a panel discussion on historic preservation featuring Pete Ashdown, Utah Heritage Foundation president; Wilson Martin, director of the Utah Historic Preservation office; Robin Zeigler, senior preservation planner in Salt Lake City; Alysa Revell, chair of the Farmington City Historic Preservation Commission, and Wayne Goodman, director of the Eastern Region of the Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana. Three of the calendar girls will also be present.

— Carma Wadley