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The Kolb brothers are to the Grand Canyon what John Wayne was to western films. The very foundation of Canyon tourism rests on their studio, perched precariously on the very rim of the canyon in the Village Historic District.
Emery and Ellsworth Kolb built the studio between 1904 and 1926, for the purpose of developing and showing the early films they created of the canyon. They were the first photographers to film boats running the rapids of the Grand Canyon, and their films helped make the South Rim an even more popular tourist destination at the beginning of the 20th century.
Emery and Ellsworth lived in the studio after the added on living quarters, and Emery showed his film of the boat trip at the studio until his death in 1976. The Kolb Studio is located at the trailhead of the Bright Angel Trail, just a short distance from the Bright Angel Lodge.
Today, the auditorium no longer shows the Kolbs films of the Grand Canyon, but it is a museum with changing exhibits operated by the non-profit Grand Canyon Association. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and the views of the canyon from inside are some of the finest views from the South Rim.