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King of Roads Film Premiere

February 24, 2017 @ 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Dinner & Program: $16, Program only: $5.

King of Roads film documentaryLaughing Deva Productions presents the public premier of “King of Roads, Friday, February 24, 2017, at Columbia Gorge Discovery Center & Museum, 5000 Discovery Drive, The Dalles, Oregon. A pre-program lasagna dinner begins at 6 p.m. followed by the 7 p.m. program.

Scenic was a word used to describe the Historic Columbia River Highway (HCRH) from the beginning. “King of Roads” creates a look and narration that elicits that original and on-going “scenic” vision by looking at the Gorge as a work of art. The beauty of the Columbia River Gorge is a powerful draw for tourists, painters, photographers, songwriters. In that respect, the movie not only tells the story of roads in the Gorge, but also draw the viewer’s attention to scenic wonders and elements of history that are still present along the rebuilt HCRH.


The dinner features homemade lasagna, salad and garlic bread.


Cost for the dinner and program is $16, the program only is $5. Tickets for this event may be purchased by calling 541-296-8600 ext. 201 between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm daily. Reservations are required by February 22.

About the film

The film is a 47-minute documentary on the Historic Columbia River Highway. Laughing Deva producers, John Hardham and Michael Friend, bring to life many stories and issues connected to the historic highway from its beginning in 1913 and into the future, via interviews, research, and local perspectives.

Friend said, “We started about four years ago. Most of the principal photography was done in 2015, but a lot was rewritten and reshot in the summer of 2016.”

The film features Sam Hill was portrayed by local actor Tom Burns, while Joe Garoutte took the role of Sam Lancaster, Hill’s road engineer. “King of Roads” is hosted and narrated by long-time Hood River County Administrator, Dave Meriwether.

The feature includes interviews with local Gorge residents, among others, about their role in making the reconnected Historic Highway Trail and about decades of living along this by-way.

Joan Caruso Smith lived at Viento as a child, helping her parents operate an auto camp along the original highway.

Hood River native Bill Pattison’s family lived in the home which is now the Stonehedge Restaurant. Pattison is one of the original members of the historic highway Steering Committee, the group largely responsible for overseeing the restoration of the highway.

Mike Byrne is a stonemason involved in the restoration of stone monuments and railings along the highway. Rip Caswell is a sculptor from Troutdale who created a statue of Sam Hill and Sam Lancaster that stands alongside the highway.

Producers John Hardham and Michael Friend commended Travel Oregon and Columbia Gorge Discovery Center as primary sponsors. Automobiles provided by Ray Schultens Ford and “Model T guy” Jim Gordon are featured in the movie.

In the summer of 2016 Laughing Deva and the Wasco County Historical Museum Press, the publishing division for the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center, released a photo book named “King of Roads.” The book on the historic highway is available at the museum’s Columbia River Trading Co. store and for sale at various locations throughout the Gorge.

VIP Meet & Greet

Don’t miss the VIP Meet & Greet showing on Saturday, February 25. Meet the actors, production team, and supporters of the restoration of the Historic Columbia River Highway.