Enoch Richwine

Enoch Richwine out front of the building he put up in the 1960s.

 

By David W. King Pictures 

Richwine’s Burgerville in Polson, Montana is one of those rare family-run, blast-from-the-past drive-in restaurants of yore. Purchased by Enoch and Lucille Richwine in 1962 as a means to support their family, this storied local eatery still does things the way they used to 59 years later. Each bull meat burger patty is still hand-pressed by Jeremy Richwine on the gadget his father Shane and grandfather Enoch used thousands of times over the decades. Enoch and Lucille’s daughter Marcia now owns and runs Richwine’s with an inspiring level of commitment to excellence that makes this eatery stand out on a national level. 

Watch the trailer:

Burgers, Fries & Family Ties - Trailer from David W. King Pictures, LLC on Vimeo.

The idea for this documentary film, called Burgers, Fries & Family Ties, came to local film producer David W. King after eating perhaps his 50th Cheeseburger Deluxe at Richwine’s Burgerville. King offers, “People ought to know about this place and the family behind it!” Over a period of 18 months, using as many as eight cameras at a time, King shot over 1,000 clips of many facets of Burgerville’s finely tuned operation, which is overseen by Marcia. 

The key to Richwine’s Burgerville’s success? According to King, it’s “The wonderful people who have made Richwine’s Burgerville one of America’s best family-run restaurants for well over half a century. Burgers, Fries & Family Ties is a love letter to Richwine’s Burgerville, and I hope people enjoy it as much as my wife Jessica and I enjoyed making it -- and savoring all those great meals during the process!”

Beginning in the summer of 2018, King began documenting Richwine’s Burgerville’s daily life. He’d become friends with Marcia as a regular customer with his wife Jessica and infant son Marcus. “We couldn’t wait for Richwine’s to open each spring!” King offers. “It wasn’t that long before I got the idea to make a documentary film about the place and the people behind it.” 

Marcia was game to let David poke around behind the scenes and filming got underway. David kept the cameras running through the rest of the summer and into fall, when Richwine’s closes for the season in September. King wanted to capture “a year in the life” of Richwine’s, so, he filmed the opening of the new season in the spring of 2019 and then wrapped up filming that summer. His wife and co-producer Jessica also gave birth to their second child, Claire in July.

That October, King finished editing Burgers, Fries & Family Ties. Since then, David and Jessica have entered their film in dozens of film festivals around the country and world. So far, it’s won an IndieFEST Award of Merit, was a finalist in the Florence Film Awards in Italy, and is now an official selection of the Spokane International Film Festival, where it screens at 6:15pm on Tuesday, March 3. 

The Kings are also excited that Polson’s Showboat Cinemas has agreed to screen Burgers, Fries & Family Ties for a full week, beginning with the film’s Montana premiere at 7:15 p.m., Friday, March 6. Following that night’s screening, there will be a cast and crew Q&A, where Marcia will be in attendance. Screenings continue daily from Saturday, March 7 through Thursday the March 12.  Saturday and Sunday will include matinees at 1:45 p.m. and 4:15 p.m., with evening screenings at 7:15 and 9:00. Monday through Thursday screenings will be at 4:15, 7:15 and 9:00. 

Showboat owners Gary and Becky Dupuis, who are featured in the film, grew up going to Richwine’s and are still regular customers. So, when King approached them about screening the film they were enthusiastic from the start. David and Jessica co-produce the Flathead Lake International Cinemafest at the Showboat Cinemas, so they go back many years with Gary and Becky, with all sharing an interest in films in general, and Montana-centric films in specific. Burgers, Fries & Family Ties is a story about long time friends and family. The film’s roots run deep, just like the people who make up the close-knit community of Polson. facebook.com/burgersfriesandfamilyties/

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