The Museum of Moab has released a new compilation of documentaries that will take viewers back to Moab’s uranium fever days. “Uranium Craze — Moab and Mining in the 1950s” was produced by Omni Productions and the Museum of Moab and contains never-before-seen footage of a 1992 interview with Charlie Steen by Jim Mattingly in which the “Uranium King” discusses Moab and southeast Utah during the peak of the uranium boom 40 years earlier.
In addition to the Steen interview, two movies made by Steen’s companies in about 1954 are also included. “This is Mi Vida” tells the story of Steen’s flagship mine, while “Million Dollar Drill Holes” is a promotional film produced to showcase Steen’s Moab Drilling Company.
The films include original footage of uranium mining on the Colorado Plateau in the mid-1950s. The films have been shown at Star Hall in Moab several times in the past, as part of Museum of Moab events.
“The thing I like about this DVD so much is that it has two movies that Charlie Steen produced himself,” Mattingly told The Times-Independent. “To have a camera crew come down from Salt Lake to film his story — that was really innovative. That was pretty groundbreaking for Charlie. And it’s great because we’ve got a history of Charlie.”
The films produced by Steen’s companies were originally on 16mm film and Mattingly had to take them to Salt Lake City to have them digitized. He said the museum also allowed him to go through its photo archives of the Steen family for images to supplement the video of the interview with Charlie Steen.
“[This year] is the 65th anniversary of the beginning of the uranium boom in Utah,” said Museum of Moab Director John Foster. “This documentary gives you a chance to hear from Charlie Steen himself telling the story of his legendary strike, and the chance to see footage of every aspect of uranium mining, from exploration to lab work.”
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For a four-part interview with Charlie Steen’s youngest son about the Utah uranium boom, click here: (Part 1) http://bit.ly/2oGUjrl (Part 2) http://bit.ly/2nSwEHt (Part 3) http://bit.ly/2nHzzm0 (Part 4) http://bit.ly/2nn6p8f