Since it was right along the road connecting the west side of Saguaro National Park to the east side, we decided to stop into Old Tucson Studios. This is an active studio lot but is open to the public. the most recent thing shot was Like a Cowboy by Randy Houser. The house in the video was still set up like in the video, but most of the other buildings had been cleared out and made ready for shows and informative lectures on life in the old west.
Over 200 hundred movies were filmed here and if you’re into TV westerns, probably one you enjoyed—including Little House on the Prairie. I’m not sure if they’re branching out into zombie flicks, but we found these next to the cemetery.
This one was from High Chaparral, which I’ve not seen. We did go on a stage coach ride but it wasn’t the one you see in the picture. Apparently, to go from Tucson to San Diego in the 1870s, it cost about $5,000 in today’s money. Bonus you got to sleep on the coach as it traveled.
They stage gun fights for everyone to enjoy. This was a showdown between 3 members of a gang. I’d forgotten how loud those things could be. There are at least 4 stages for the bigger shows, but this was in the street in front of the town hall.
This is the mission stage. You might recognize it from 3 Amigos. It’s just a front, there’s no actual building. This survived the fire that occurred, wiping out nearly half the studio (Which occurred right before we visited last time)
This is the jail with its moveable cell so the set always looks different depending on the movie. Several of the buildings can be taken down and relocated in 10 minutes.
John Wayne made four movies here. This was the river in one of his Rio movies.Yep, that river is about 50 ft long. The Duke owned part of the studio. This is behind the store he owned in Mcclintock (also filmed here) although I couldn’t find were the mud fight scene was.
An authentic steam engine circa 1870s. It too survived the fire but it’s track didn’t. In the movies made here, to get the train to move in the other direction the film was reversed. DOn’t believe me, check the ring fingers of the actors:D.
And lastly, Rosa’s Cantina, made popular by one of Arizona’s favorite sons Marty Robbins and his song El Paso. That’s my daughter in front of it. Yes, she is wearing a sweater and it is in the mid-90s. It’s a dry heat. The visitors from Norway and Tennessee didn’t think that made it cooler:D