was filmed here
(Click on photos for enlargements)
Alamo Village is a movie set and was untill 2009
a tourist attraction north of Brackettville, Texas, United States,
It can be found just north of Brackettville itself, on Route 674.
It was once Texas' most active and versatile movie set
and also one of the largest and most complete
(no false fronts here) backlots in the world.
The full-sized facsimile, which took two years to complete,
used the original plans,
the traditional adobe techniques and – without any apparent irony –
a largely Mexican workforce of 5,000.
It was the first movie location built in Texas',
and It was claimed at the time
to be the biggest movie set outside Hollywood
Built for John Wayne's The Alamo,
Alamo Village has played host to more than 200 major feature films,
TV movies, mini-series,documentaries, commercials, and music videos.
Barbarosa with Willie Nelson, Lonesome Dove
with Robert Duvall and Tommy Lee Jones,
The Good Old Boys, starring Sissy Spacek, Tommy Lee Jones,
and Matt Damon, Bad Girls with Andie MacDowell
and Drew Barrymore and the modern day millennial comedy thriller,
The Bullfighter with Willem Defoe have all been
The set was built by rancher and businessman
James T. "Happy" Shahan of Brackettville,
who in 1995 was named the "Father of the Texas movie industry"
by Governor George W. Bush.
Why Kinney County?
because Shahan convinced John Wayne's
Batjac Productions to film The Alamo here.
John Wayne’s lumbering epic, a long, long way from the historical truth,
actually began filming in Mexico – there’s not much of the real Alamo left
– but this proved too expensive.
Even so, at $7,500,000, The Alamo was the costliest movie made at the time.
The production was closed down and restarted at Brackettville on Highway 90,
about 100 miles west of San Antonio toward Del Rio, West Texas,
where Wayne leased 400 acres of a 22,000 acre ranch belonging to one
JT ‘Happy’ Shahan, and the Alamo was rebuilt.
Shahan began building the set
on his ranch in September, 1957 for Wayne,
who had tried for years to make a movie about the
Battle of the Alamo for Republic Pictures,
before finally breaking away to form Batjac Productions.
Filming in Bracketville began in August, 1959.
Since, hundreds of other production companies
have used our one-of-a-kind set located in the middle
of a 30 square mile working ranch.
(Click on photo for enlargement)
Originally the set was to be facades of the front and sides of the buildings.
However, Wayne ran out of money
and called a halt to construction.
Shahan agreed to continue working while Wayne raised more money,
if Wayne would agree to building full sets with four walls, floor and roofs.
Wayne signed on to the deal.
(Click on Photo for enlargement)
The set includes a full-scale re-creation of the Alamo
compound as it would have appeared in 1836
(the real Alamo is in the middle of downtown San Antonio, Texas
and is surrounded by modern buildings).
The set also includes a representation of the village of
San Antonio de Béxar of the same time period.
The building of the set required over 1.5 million adobe bricks,
14 miles of gravel road and a 4,000-foot runway.
The full scale set for The Alamo.
Shahan preserved the set after the end of the 1960 production and,
over the years, over a dozen films about the Alamo
have been shot there.
In addition, over 100 other western movies as well as documentaries,
music videos and commercials have been shot using
various parts of the set.
(The 2004 Disney movie about the Alamo was not shot on this set,
but in a new set built in Dripping Springs, Texas.)
Frank Thompson, a film historian, noted that each production changed the set in some way, big or small, and that the changes appear
in each new movie about the Alamo,
documenting the current view of authenticity over time.
After the filming of the 1960 version of The Alamo,
the village has served primarily as a tourist attraction.
For several decades, it served as a significant local employer
and element of the economy of Brackettville.
In addition to the replica of The Alamo, the village included a cantina
and restaurant, a trading post, an Indian store, a church, a jail,
a blacksmith shop, the John Wayne Western Museum,
several museums, and a celebrity gallery.
Alamo Village also maintained a collection of antique tools,
vehicles and other period props, as well as a herd of longhorn cattle.
During the summer, live music and stage shows performed frequently,
and over Labor Day weekend the Labor Day Horse Races brought
crowds to the village.
Alamo Village was open to visitors year round except for December 21-26.
And it was still there, until 2009, as a tourist attraction as well as a location
for many subsequent movies. Extensions acquired over the years
include a section of San Antonio which metamorphoses over its length
to become Fort Worth of the 1880s.
In 2004, the set was put up for sale by its owner, Virginia Shahan,
Happy Shahan's widow, for $3.0 million.
Virginia Shahan died on June 23, 2009 at the age of 93.
Alamo Village was closed to the public while her estate evaluated
the feasibility of the Village's continued operation in the midst of the late-2000s recession.
Alamo Village temporarily re-opened after the death of Virginia Shahan
but on September 28, 2009, Tulisha Shahan Wardlaw,
Happy and Virginia's daughter died at the age of 67.
Alamo Village then closed its doors and removed its website, ending an era.
Alamo Village reopened briefly for the summer in 2010 with limited hours
and no shows, stores or restaurants, but closed again within a few months.
Corpus Christi, Texas business man David Jones is in the process of raising funds
to reopen the site
Video of the abandoned Alamo Village
The Alamo (1960) - Produced, directed and starring John Wayne
Two Rode Together (1961) - starring James Stewart
Bandolero! (1968) - starring James Stewart, Raquel Welch and Dean Martin
Barbarosa (1982) - starring Willie Nelson
Good As Gold (1983 music video) by Red Rockers
Uphill All the Way (1986)
Gone to Texas (aka Houston: The Legend of Texas (November, 1986)
The Alamo: Thirteen Days to Glory (1987)
Alamo: The Price of Freedom (1988) - Imax
Lonesome Dove (1988) (TV) - starring Robert Duvall
Travis (1991) (film/video) - starring Benton Jennings
Bad Girls (1994)
Once Upon a Time in China and America (1997) - a Chinese martial arts western
Call of the Wildman (2013)
For more information:-
The post was edited 42 times, last by ethanedwards ().