The Shining: The service station

When Dick Hallorann needs a snowcat,
he makes a call to Larry Durkin in Sidewinder.  Unless it’s the mini-series, then its Howie.  These two small parts are as different as they are similar.  This article takes a look at the service station and the men who run it.

Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, portrayal of Durkin’s auto supply looks like it was ripped from a Stephen King’s novel.  With its facade from small-town USA, fog, and imprisoning blizzard, it does not appear like a beacon of hope.  Inside rests its proprietor, Larry Durkin.

Everything inside Durkin’s place, appears normal.  Credit card plaques, cigarettes, a charge machine, and patient customers where we would expect none.  Durkin is the gatekeeper to hell and everything illogical seems in its place.  The office is plastered with red, white, and blue; another repeated subliminal message of Kubrick’s.  Its a bastion of capitalism, the seats, the promotions for credit, and most conveniently, the colors of Amoco (since overtaken by BP).

The television mini-series chooses another character from the book, “Howie”.  We presume its Howard Cottrell, the snowplow driver who helped Hallorann.  (  Howie is a humorous pessimist who brings sobering reason in an episode of the supernatural.  The shots of the garage are tight offering little sense of scale.  It shares few things common with the feature film.  Intentional or not, the mini-series keeps faithful to Kubrick’s film by having the station decorated in red, white, and blue.  It appears to be shot in an Amoco with its trademark colors, conspicuously covering the logo with a make-shift banner.

In contrast, Kubrick made the most out of Larry Durkin’s station.  It was more than a simple scene bridging Hallorann’s journey between Florida and Sidewinder, Colorado.  The station, filled with now-vintage props from the 1970’s, is unique in design.  Notice how asymmetrical Durkin’s office is?  Symmetry is deliberately avoided.  The mini-series’ idea of the station was swift and efficient.  We see Hallorann drive away in his snowcat.  There is nothing else of significance.


Kubrick’s Larry Durkin was played by Tony Burton.
The mini series’ gas station Howie was played by Sam Raimi.

Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining
Stephen King’s The Shining TV mini-series


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