Old Tucson Studios

 

Old Tucson Studios was built in 1939 to film Arizona.  Over the years, more than 300 movies and television shows were filmed here, including Rio Bravo, Rio Lobo, and McClintock with John Wayne and the television series High Chapparel and Little House on the Prairie.  More recently, Tombstone was filmed here.  A devastating fire in 1995 destroyed almost 1/3 of the buildings and the locomotive Reno which was used in Wild, Wild West among other shows and films.  But, never mind, it’s still worth a visit, especially if you grew up watching tv westerns and old western movies.

We took a tour with Marty, a fountain of information about what scenes in various movies were filmed in specific locations on the property, how scenes were put together using a number of locales, and all sorts of other western movie-making trivia.  We also went to two of the nine shows that occur throughout the day—The Three Amigos Ride Again! and Western Movie Magic.  The first includes a number of stunts like falling off a three-story building and the second, which takes place in the Grand Palace Hotel & Saloon, features dancehall girls doing a can-can and a demonstration of how fist-fights aka bar-room brawls are filmed.

Trails and Treasures Home Page   Journey to the American Southwest 2003