Old Tucson, Arizona

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    There are 18 replies in this Thread. The last Post () by Richard--W.

    • Old Tucson, Arizona

      logo-300.png
      Tuscon, Arizona

      Duke made here were
      Rio Bravo
      McLintock
      El Dorado
      Rio Lobo




      The opening scenes of Tombstone.
      (click on for enlargements)

      Old Tucson Studios is a movie studio and theme park just outside of Tucson, Arizona.
      Built in 1939 for the movie Arizona, the studio was opened to the public in 1960.

      Early History
      Old Tucson Studios was originally built in 1939 by Columbia Pictures
      on a Pima County-owned site as a replica of 1860's Tucson for the movie
      Arizona, starring William Holden and Jean Arthur.
      Workers built more than 50 buildings in 40 days.
      Many of those structures still stand today.





      After Arizona completed filming, the location lay dormant for several years,
      until the filming of The Bells of St. Mary's (1945), starring Bing Crosby
      and Ingrid Bergman.
      Other early movies included The Last Round-Up (1947) with Gene Autry
      and Winchester '73 (1950) with Jimmy Stewart and
      The Last Outpost with Ronald Reagan.

      The 1950s saw the filming of Gunfight at the OK Corral (1956),
      The Lone Ranger and the Lost City of Gold (1957),
      and Cimarron (1959) Tombstone, and
      The Outlaw Josey Wales, among others.





      In 1959, entrepreneur Robert Shelton leased the property from Pima County
      and began to restore the aging facility.
      Old Tucson Studios re-opened in 1960, as a both a film studio and a theme park.
      The park grew building by building with each movie filmed on its dusty streets.

      John Wayne starred in four movies at Old Tucson Studios
      and each production added buildings to the town.
      Rio Bravo (1959) added a saloon, bank building and doctor's office;
      McLintock! (1963) added the McLintock Hotel;
      El Dorado (1967) brought a renovation of the storefronts on Front Street;
      and with Rio Lobo (1970) came a cantina, a granite-lined creek,
      a jail and a ranch house.




      (click on for enlargement)

      In 1968, a 13,000 square foot soundstage was built to give Old Tucson Studios
      greater movie-making versatility. The first film to use the soundstage was
      Young Billy Young (1968), starring Robert Mitchum and Angie Dickinson.

      The park also began adding tours, rides and shows for the entertainment of visitors,
      most notably gunfights staged in the "streets" by stunt performers.

      Old Tucson served as an ideal location for shooting scenes for TV series like
      High Chaparral,Little House on the Prairie, and later Father Murphy, featuring Merlin Olsen
      Three Amigos was a popular comedy shot there in the 80s,
      utilizing the church set.
      The main street appears prominently in 1990s westerns like
      Tombstone and The Quick and the Dead.




      The fictional Pima County Bank, used in a daily bank robbery show

      Fire
      On April 25, 1995, a fire destroyed much of Old Tucson Studios.
      Buildings, costumes and memorabilia were all lost in the blaze.-


      View of Main Street from entrance


      Old Tuscon.1984
      (Click on photos for enlargements)

      Fire
      On April 25, 1995, a fire destroyed much of Old Tucson Studios.
      Buildings, costumes and memorabilia were all lost in the blaze.

      The origin of the fire is not known.
      However, several factors contributed to the degree of devastation.
      Fire control efforts were hampered by high winds.
      A 25,000 gallon water reserve was inaccessable and water had to be brought in from areas up to 40 miles away.





      Most of the buildings in the studio were classified as
      "Temporary Structures," meaning fire prevention devices
      such as sprinklers were not required.

      Liquid propane and gunpowder stored near the fire area demanded
      the attention of firefighters and much of the scarce water supply.
      So much water was used in the attempt to prevent an explosion
      that the surrounding areas became flooded, further impeding the firefighters
      as they attempted to wade through the mud.




      Saloon (Click on photo for enlargement)

      When the fire began, 300 guests and employees were forced to evacuate the park.
      After approximately four hours, the flames were finally extinguished.

      Damages were estimated to be in excess of $10 million,
      with 25 buildings destroyed including the sound stage.





      Among the memorabilia destroyed was the wardrobe from Little House on the Prairie.
      After 20 months of reconstruction, Old Tucson re-opened its doors on January 2, 1997.
      The sets that were lost were not recreated; instead,
      entirely new buildings were constructed, and the streets were widened.
      The soundstage was not rebuilt.





      In 2003, Old Tucson reduced its hours of operation,
      remaining open on a limited basis. Focusing on seasonal events,
      Old Tucson hosts the popular Nightfall event for Halloween.

      Another photo tour here:-
      Old Tucson Studios

      For more information:-
      Old Tucson Studios- Wikipedia
      Best Wishes
      Keith
      London- England

      The post was edited 59 times, last by ethanedwards ().

    • Keith,
      In the mid 1980s I was ask by William Hearst Jr. to do a series of seven one hours shows called "The Gunfighters" for Hearst A.B.C. Television and we did Many of the Scenes at Old Tucson. :D

      When I get back to my other computer in the Verde Valley I will put up some of the Pictures that were taken from the Series that was done at Old Tucson. :)

      Every time we needed to Kill- Off one of The Bad Guys like a Crooked Gambler or Outlaw I did the Fall, :dead: as we where on a Very Budget for the T.V. Series, and the Stuntmen wanted too Much Money, and we would have to Fly Them in from California. :fear:

      What a Shame that this old Movie Town Burned Down, :cry2: but I am told that Much of it has been Rebuilt!!! :D

      Bill :cowboy:


      Keith;

      Here is a little Picture Story out of the T.V. Series "The Gunfighters" that we did in the 1980s and these Film Clips were done at Old Tucson in the Sound Stage that Burned Down. :cry2:

      I will put up another Small Picture Story on Film Clips taken on the outside at Sedona Soon. Also Pictures of two of the Old Movie Towns that were once there. :angry:

      The Gunfighters

      Bill :cowboy:

      The post was edited 1 time, last by ethanedwards ().

    • Old Tucson set - Arial photos online

      All Duke fans are pretty familiar with the Old Tucson set--at least how it appeared in Rio Bravo, El Dorado, and Rio Lobo. I just found that on local.live.com/ you can visit the Old Tucson set via arial photos. From that website, scroll over to Tucson, and then zoom in, and the navigate west from downdown Tucson until you come to Kinney road. Then after you zoom in over the Old Tucson site, click the button for Bird's Eye view, and be treated to excellent color photos that can be re-oriented from each angle (north/south/east/west). From these shots, you can easily see the old church facade that was featured in El Dorado, as well as the rocky ruins from where Stumpy threw the dynamite at the Burdette warehouse. If you have never visited Old Tucson in person, this appears to be the next best option.

      Sadly, I could not make out the old Jail, which means it may have been destroyed. I would have loved to visit that jail and walk up to it and holler "Stumpy, I'm coming in."

      Can anyone else identify any specific buildings in these photos that are still roughly the same as they were years ago?

      GSP
      "...all of this and General Price that baby sister makes it back to Yell county" --Rooster Cogburn, True Grit.
    • Re: Old Tucson set - Arial photos online

      Thanks GSP. I had alittle trouble finding the place so I will add to your directions. Old Tuscon is located where South Kinney RD and West Gates Pass(Speedway BLVD). It is located just to the south where those 2 roads meet.
      Life is hard, its even harder when your stupid!!
      -John Wayne
    • Re: Old Tucson set - Arial photos online

      Is it the place that looks like an amusement park from the air? The place I'm looking at is the southeast corn of the intersection of S Kinney Rd and West Gates Pass.
      Tbone


      "I have tried to live my life so that my family would love me and my friends respect me. The others can do whatever the hell they please."
    • Re: Old Tucson set - Arial photos online

      Yes, that's it. It won't look like much unless you click the "Bird's Eye View" button. The standard view is just the picture from space directly overhead. But the Bird's Eye is from an angle, and close enough to easily see tourists standing around.
      "...all of this and General Price that baby sister makes it back to Yell county" --Rooster Cogburn, True Grit.
    • Re: Duke's Movie Locations- Old Tucson, Arizona

      Originally posted by ethanedwards@Nov 9 2006, 01:24 PM

      [b] Fire


      On April 25, 1995, a fire destroyed much of Old Tucson Studios. Buildings, costumes and memorabilia were all lost in the blaze.

      After 20 months of reconstruction, Old Tucson re-opened its doors on January 2, 1997. The sets that were lost were not recreated; instead, entirely new buildings were constructed, and the streets were widened. The soundstage was not rebuilt. In 2003, Old Tucson reduced its hours of operation, remaining open on a limited basis. Focusing on seasonal events, Old Tucson hosts the popular Nightfall event for Halloween.
      [/b]


      Hi Bill,

      Thanks for adding to these posts,
      and your contribution is welcome.
      It seems from above,
      that they have re-built most of it,
      perhaps you can give us, some first hand knowledge?
      Best Wishes
      Keith
      London- England

      The post was edited 9 times, last by ethanedwards ().

    • Re: Duke's Movie Locations- Old Tucson, Arizona

      When I was running the "Street Entertainment" at Apacheland Movie Ranch south of Apache Junction, AZ, I was told that Batjac had used Apacheland for a few short scenes. I was never able to confirm that, though. But some of the customers thought he (JW) worked there, because I would do the announcements over the PA while doing my impression of him. Everybody loved it!

      I would like to know for sure if he actually ever did any work out there.
    • Re: Duke's Movie Locations- Old Tucson, Arizona

      Buck,

      First of all, WELCOME to the John Wayne Message Board! A friendlier, more knowledgeable bunch you won't find anywhere!

      As to your question, a little digging around over at IMDb netted this link, which is a list of films that used Apache Junction, AZ, as a location -

      http://us.imdb.com/List?endings=on&&locations=Apache+Junction,+Arizona,+USA

      Again, welcome!

      Chester :newyear: and the Mrs. :angel1:

      The post was edited 1 time, last by chester7777: remove dead link, fix other one ().

    • Re: Duke's Movie Locations- Old Tucson, Arizona

      Just to follow up on this one,
      and thanks to Chester for his information




      Click on here for more details,

      Apacheland
      Files
      • apache14.jpg

        (20.84 kB, downloaded 6 times, last: )
      Best Wishes
      Keith
      London- England