Each summer the Empire Ranch Foundation celebrates classic Western movies with outdoor showings at the Historic Empire Ranch. The Empire Ranch Foundation greatly appreciates the support of The Loft Cinema’s sponsorship of these events which help support the preservation of the Historic Empire Ranch on Las Cienegas National Conservation Area in Sonoita.
Filmed in 1972, this science fiction classic stars Stuart Whitman, Janet Leigh, and Rory Calhoun. Giant mutant rabbits, escapees from a university laboratory, terrorize the southwest. Though not a Western film, Night of the Lepus features several of the Empire Ranch headquarters buildings and ERF’s own Bunker De France plays the role of “husband in car.” Watch the rabbits race from the South Barn to the Empire Ranch House to threaten the residents hiding in the storm cellar.
Admission is free; a parking donation is requested. Bring your own seating, food & flashlights. Snacks and waterwill be available for purchase.
The Loft Solar Cinema is a program that allows Southern Arizona communities to enjoy a free screening of a film of their choosing. The Empire Ranch Foundation has partnered with The Loft Cinema to host showings of 3:10 to Yuma (2018); Red River (2019); and Last Train from Gun Hill (2022), Gunman’s Walk (2023).
The showings take place outdoors at Empire Ranch Headquarters. A cargo van outfitted with solar panels powers a 12 or 20-foot inflatable screen and state-of-the-art mobile projection system.
From 2011 to 2022 the Empire Ranch Foundation partnered with the Loft Cinema to show classic Western films on the big screen. Prior to the movie a panel of film experts provided interesting background information about the film, with audience participation invited.
Past movie showings at The Loft included: Red River (2011), Monte Walsh (2012), 3:10 to Yuma (2013), El Dorado (2014), The Shootist (2015), Westward the Women (2016), Ride the High Country (2017), the Outlaw Josey Wales (2018), Oklahoma (2019), and Gunfight at the OK Corral (2022)..