Documentary About ‘South Park’ Creators’ Casa Bonita Rescue Sets World Premiere at Tribeca

 “¡Casa Bonita Mi Amor!” will follow Trey Parker and Matt Stone as they revive the beloved Mexican restaurant

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Casa Bonita, the Lakewood restaurant, purchased by the creators of "South Park" in 2021, renovated for reopening in Lakewood, Colorado on Thursday, May 25, 2023. (Photo by Hyoung Chang/The Denver Post)

A documentary on Casa Bonita, the Denver-located Mexican family restaurant made famous by and later saved by the creators of “South Park,” will make its worldwide debut at the Tribeca Film Festival this weekend.

“¡Casa Bonita Mi Amor!,” which follows the rise, fall and revival of the landmark, will premiere Friday, June 7 at the festival, and will be followed by a conversation with director Arthur Bradford and subjects and “South Park” creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, moderated by Andy Cohen. The film will stream on Paramount+ later this year.

The first Casa Bonita opened in Oklahoma City in 1968, expanding to Little Rock, AR in 1969, Tulsa, OK in 1971 and to the Denver suburb of Lakewood in 1974. The chain became known for theme park-like interiors, with Denver featuring an indoor waterfall, cliff divers and haunted caves.

But the OKC flagship restaurant closed in 1993, and the company shuttered the Tulsa and Little Rock locations in 2005. Only the Colorado restaurant, made famous by the 2003 “South Park” episode “Casa Bonita,” remained.

Following a temporary closure during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the owner of Casa Bonita filed for bankruptcy in 2021, cementing the closure of the cultural fixture. That’s when Parker and Stone swooped in to save the restaurant, buying Casa Bonita and and giving it some renovations. The restaurant reopened in May 2023 to preview audiences and is set to plans to open to general public later this year. 

“In addition to being a landmark in Colorado, Casa Bonita is a cultural touchstone for legions of ‘South Park’ fans,” said Chris McCarthy, Paramount Global co-CEO and MTV Entertainment Studios and Showtime president and CEO. “We’re thrilled to build on our longstanding partnership with Matt and Trey and bring their iconic passion project to life on Paramount+ later this year.”

Hailing from MTV Documentary Films, “¡Casa Bonita Mi Amor!” is directed Arthur Bradford, with Jennifer Ollman serving as a producer while P.H. O’Brien is the film’s director of photography. Chad Beck (ACE), Devin Concannon and Paul Frost serve as editors, Bradford and Keith Pizzi are EPs and Afshin Beyzaee and Vernon Chatman serve as co-executive producers.

“I think people will be surprised to see the level of hands-on devotion Matt and Trey poured into this place,” director Arthur Bradford said in a statement. “Trey was fueled by a Wonka-like passion to bring back the Casa Bonita of his youth.”

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