Corriganville Movie Ranch, California

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    There are 3 replies in this Thread. The last Post () by ethanedwards.

    • Corriganville Movie Ranch, California

      Movie Ranch
      Simi Valley, California

      Many scenes from
      Fort Apache
      The Three Mesquiteers
      series filmed here.

      Around 1937, Ray Corrigan invested in some real estate in the foothills
      of the Santa Susana Mountains,in the Santa Susana Pass
      area of Simi Valley in eastern Ventura County, California.
      He developed it as a multi-purpose movie location for use in film production.
      While several dollar figures have been thrown about, apparently the purchase price
      for the land was in the range of $10,000 - $12,000.

      The location provided different types of terrain such as lakes, mountains,
      caves, large boulders, and rock outcroppings and overhangs.
      The environment was a picturesque California oak woodland.
      The small man-made lake featured a bunker with windows
      that would allow underwater scenes to be shot.
      Estimates of the number of movies and television shows
      filmed there range from the hundreds to the thousands.

      ..........Above, youngTom Corrigan sits atop Roy Rogers' horse,
      .........while Dale Evans,who is clearly out of costume looks on

      ....Ray "Crash" Corrigan takes part in a scene with actor John Wayne
      ..........................and Raymond Hatton.

      Corrigan's family lived in homes converted from the movie sets.

      Most of the Range Busters were done there, as well as A features like
      Fort Apache (1948) with John Wayne.
      Also filmed at Corriganville were Columbia's Jungle Jim series
      with Johnny Weissmuller and TV shows such as
      The Adventures of Rin-Tin-Tin Sky King and Star Trek

      The last Range Busters film was released in 1943, and was basically
      the end of Ray Corrigan's starring career.
      But he was tired of the cowboy film rat race ... and his priorities had changed
      as he had become very busy with the movie ranch.

      Corrigan opened the ranch to the public weekends and holidays from 1949 to 1965.
      and would stage shoot-em-ups and various other entertainment shows.

      For an admission price of one dollar, one could experience stuntman shows,
      actors (often Crash himself) signing autographs, and movie locations
      including a western town (“Silverton”), frontier fort, and Mexican village,
      all made up of real structures and not just set fronts.
      He even employed several of his movie buddies at the ranch,
      including Max Terhune and Victor Daniels (Chief Thunder Cloud).
      Corrigan's family lived in homes converted from the movie sets.

      Tom Corrigan said the amusement park on the ranch was
      the first amusement park in the United States, preceding Disneyland,
      Knott’s Berry Farm and Universal Studios, and said as many
      as 20,000 people would come to the park on weekends.

      In 1965 Ray Corrigan sold the property, which was acquired
      by comedian and property speculator Bob Hope.
      A housing subdivision project called Hopetown
      was developed and built on a parcel near the park entrance.
      In the late 1960s and early 1970s part of the site
      was used for motorcycle racing. In 1970 the ranch was swept by fire.
      One of the last movies filmed there was Vigilante Force (1976).

      In 1979 another fire destroyed virtually all of the remaining structures.
      In 1988, 190 acres of land comprising the principal working areas
      of the original Corriganville Ranch were purchased by
      the City of Simi Valley for use as a Regional Park.

      Now named Corriganville Regional Park, the Corriganville Movie Ranch
      is now a public park operated by the Rancho Simi Recreation and Park District.
      The park's eastern area is part of the Santa Susana Pass wildlife corridor
      connecting the Simi Hills (and the Santa Monica Mountains)
      with the Santa Susana Mountains (and Tehachapi Mountains
      and San Gabriel Mountains).
      Hiking trails provide exploration and views.
      Rocky Peak Park is adjacent to the east.

      Rick Johnson, a spokesman for the Rancho/Simi Valley Parks and Recreation Ar
      Only the foundations of the movie sets remain, but the park is a beautiful place for hiking

      Many movies were filmed here including Duke's

      Fort Apache

      .....................Fort Apache (from the author's collection)

      For the 1948 Fort Apache, during the Summer of 1947,
      20th Century-Fox built the basis of a western fort on a plateau above the town..
      By the early 1950's, the fort walls were added.
      When a Foreign Legion type of movie was filmed there (name not known),
      the western side of the fort set was converted into the "concrete"
      style of walls used in the African pictures.
      This wall also included its own gateway.

      The remnants of the wall can be seen in the photo above,
      (the white wall on the right bottom side of the fort set).
      This fort was the main set for the television series The Adventures of Rin-Tin-Tin.

      The roadway along the western side of the fort next to the white walls
      was the entrance way from the parking lot to the Silvertown set
      (left to right in the photo).

      The roadway to the north of the fort as well
      as the roadway that exited the fort from the secondary gateway
      (upper left side of fort) both headed towards
      the dugout relay station.(see photo below)

      By late 1967, the set was dismantled. A shooting range was later installed.
      Photo is an aerial view of Fort Apache in the late 1950's/early 1960's
      (from the author's collection)

      The photograph below shows a reverse angle of the above photograph
      and includes the legionaire wall and gateway (upper left of picture).

      Stairs next to the main entrance
      in early to mid 1950's (from the Mark S. Cramer, collection)

      The dug-out in Fort Apache

      1947 movie Still from the movie

      1950 movie still (from the author's collection)

      1951 movie poster (from the author's collection)

      The main entrance as seen in Apache

      A 1954 view of the fort (from the Jerry L. Schneider collection)

      The Burma Road side entrance of the fort


      Scenic panoramic view of Silvertown taken on January 17, 1954,
      by Larry Parson, Corriganville Photographer
      (Click on Photo for enlargement)

      The roadway along the western side of the fort next to the white walls
      was the entrance way from the parking lot to the Silvertown set.

      (Click on Photographs for enlargements)(Photos from Corriganville)

      Below:Silvertown/Ray Corrigan on horseback (photos by Minard Coons)

      General Store

      Silvertown (photo by Minard Coons)
      Buildings between Frontier Cafe and Crash Corrigan's Ranch House: all were false fronts

      Sound Stage behind hotel facade on right,....................Saloon
      second barn on left, church/school house
      behind sound stage
      (photos by Gregg Anderson)
      Used in Kris Kristoffersen's film Vigalante

      For more information:-
      Corriganville Movie Ranch

      Further information from:
      Corriganville Movie Ranch- Wikipedia

      For more information
      Studios, Backlots and Ranches
      Best Wishes
      London- England

      The post was edited 107 times, last by ethanedwards ().

    • Re: Duke's Movie Locations- Corriganville Movie Ranch- California

      That's great Keith. I'd like nothing better than to visit that area-love seeing old movie sets and locations. It'd be wonderful to live that close to one!
    • Re: Duke's Movie Ranch Locations- Corriganville Movie Ranch- California

      I have copied this post over to this dedicated thread

      dukedood wrote:

      Lo and behold, I came across Corriganville Park...the remains of Crash Corrigan's Movie ranch. I parked in the near-empty lot and started to explore. I didn't expect much, but I was surprised to find photo-markers that pointed out some of the ranch's main features. Of note are the Jungle Jim lake [a concrete-lined artificial lake that's not been filled with water since the 60's, I think]. I saw the "lake" in a Gene Autry western just today [The Old West].

      The western town is gone--the buildings having been burned down in two brush fires in the 70's---too bad. But the foundations are still there, so sharp-eyed fans like me can see where film cameras were set up from certain shots in the old films.

      Back to the John Wayne connection--one of the major sets on the ranch was the Fort Apache set from the John Ford/John Wayne film.

      Just yesterday I saw the set featured throughout a film called Escape from Fort Bravo [the sets were reused a buncha times in different films]. I had been hiking there just the day before. The terrain was familiar, but sadly the buildings are gone now.

      The day before, too, I was able to locate the area of the ranch/park where the underground bunker in Fort Apache was located--the trading post run by the corrupt Indian official in the movie. Of course, not much remains of the set except for a ditch.

      The original ranch was about 2,000 acres. Thanks to Bob Hope buying the ranch and selling parcels off to developers, only about 300 acres remain as a state park. It's still an amazing place, though--I think my favorite place on earth [next to my bed].

      I try to hike there at least twice a week. Five, if I can manage it.

      Down the road is what's left of the Iverson Ranch--where the famed Lone Ranger rock can still be seen [from the show's opening theme sequence]. Since I was a kid I wondered where that rock was. I was on the East coast then...who knew yrs later it'd be a few miles from my house?

      Kurt Hathaway
      film freak
      Western nut
      Best Wishes
      London- England
    • Re: Duke's Movie Locations- Corriganville Movie Ranch- California

      These are truly fascinating and well put together videos
      Best Wishes
      London- England

      The post was edited 2 times, last by ethanedwards ().