The Mormon Pavilion

A 50th Anniversary Documentary Film

The Mormon Pavilion, at the 1964 World’s Fair, was a game changer for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and helped it reach a global audience. More than 100,000 people have been baptized as a direct result of the Mormon Pavilion at the fair. The Church’s innovative involvement in the New York World’s Fair was undoubtedly one of the most significant events for Latter-day Saints in the New York City area in the twentieth century. The Mormon Pavilion’s influence, however, reached far beyond the borders of New York, and its legacy continues to be realized today.

This Mormon Pavilion film tells the story and celebration of the lasting legacy of the 1964 New York World’s Fair Mormon Pavilion.

Release Date – Fall 2019


The Film

During this 30 minute film viewing audiences will discover and learn:

    • How the idea developed to build a major LDS Church exhibit during the fair.
    • The miracle of securing a place to build the Mormon Pavilion at a major entrance to the fair.
    • Historical shifts in how the LDS Church ‘self-represents’ to the broader public.
    • How 40,000 donated fresh begonia blossoms arrived from across the continent for the Pavilion
    • The story of the Christus and the Mormon Pavilion
    • The story behind the film Man’s Search for Happiness, a film produced just for the fair.
    • How some current Mormon artwork came from the Mormon Pavilion.
    • The most interesting exhibit, full time LDS Church missionaries as tour guides.
    • Interviews with key leaders, designers and creators of the Mormon Pavilion.


The film includes key interviews with:

      • Claire Whitaker, screenwriter, “Man’s Search For Happiness”
      • Elder Brockbank
      • Ed Vebell – Pavilion Artist
      • Pavilion Participants
      • Pavilion Visitors
      • More…


Production Schedule

        1. Pre-production/Research – Completed
        2. Production – Historical Archives/On-Camera Interviews in Utah, Connecticut, Idaho – ASAP – estimated completion date October 15, 2015
        3. Post-Production – Estimated Completion Date – Spring 2019
        4. Film Release – Fall 2019


The Team

Films are really a collaborative work that require the creative input of a number of disciplines. This project brings together a group with significant professional experience in LDS Church History, film production, the web and social media.

Historical Advisors


Dr. Brent L. Top is a Professor of Church History and Doctrine at Brigham Young University and since 2009 has served as the chair of that department. Prior to joining the BYU Religious Education faculty in 1987, he worked for the LDS Church Educational System as a released-time seminary teacher, an institute teacher and an administrator. He served as Associate Dean of Religious Education from 1997-2002 and held the endowed Professorship in Moral Education for two years. Topp is the author or editor of over thirty books.



Dr. Reid L. Neilson is the author of several books, including Exhibiting Mormonism: The Latter-day Saints and the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011) and the editor or co-editor of more than a dozen academic books. He has also written many essays, book chapters, and introductions and presented dozens of papers on religion, history, and business at a variety of academic conferences. He is currently writing a history of Mormon Missionary Work entitled “God’s Army” to be published by Oxford University Press. Neilson is the Managing Director of the LDS Church History Department.



Production Team

Michael Mills-thmb

Michael Mills, Writer/Producer/Director, is currently a producer for TeleStory Pictures, a New York City based media production company. His near 20 years experience spans television, film, documentaries, commercials and direct to DVD projects for companies like ABC World News, Warner Brothers, Universal, Philips Medical, STERIS as well as Fortune 100 and 500 companies in the medical/pharma/hi-tech industries. Mr. Mills is best known for the nationally honored and international award-winning documentary, “The Bear River Massacre”, and international award-winning short film and #1 selling family film,”He Took My Licking”.

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John Garbett, Writer/Executive Producer has over 30 years experience on film, television and digital media projects for global audiences at the Walt Disney Company, Amblin Entertainment, Time/Warner AOL, MCA-Universal, DreamWorks SKG, MGM/UA and independent production companies. During this time Garbett has led creative development and production management teams on over 50 diverse high profile media projects and proven his organizational, written and verbal communication skills in dynamic changing work environments.


Other Production Team TBA

Participating In The Legacy

This independent documentary film is being funded through generous private donations that are tax deductible. Donations small and large are welcome and will help immortalize and preserve this miracle story for generations to come. If you’d like to participate in immortalizing the legacy of the 1964 World’s Fair Mormon Pavilion with this documentary film please contact us by using the form below. You can also participate by receiving the latest news on the making of the film and sharing it’s release with family and friends.

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