Melody Ranch, California (Republic/Monogram)

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    There is 1 reply in this Thread. The last Post () by ethanedwards.

    • Melody Ranch, California (Republic/Monogram)

      Placerita Canyon, Newhall, California

      The Gene Autry Ranch, Placeritos Ranch, Monogram Ranch

      As it is today
      Melody Ranch Motion Picture Studio

      Many of Duke's early westerns, filmed here, including

      Dark Command

      Famous singing cowboy and former
      owner of Melody Ranch, Gene Autry
      pictured with Paul Valuzat, and current
      owners Renaud and Andre Valuzat.
      It is now the Melody Ranch Motion Picture Studio

      Other famous westerns TV and movies included,
      The Lone Ranger, Wyatt Earp, Gunsmoke, Hopalong Cassidy,
      Annie Oakly, Rin Tin Tin and The Cisco Kid.etc.etc.

      ..................The Famous Barn.........................................The Hacienda Set

      Originally known as Placeritos Ranch, it was commonly
      referred to as the Monogram Ranch
      prior to Gene Autry purchasing the property
      and renaming it Melody Ranch.
      The property is now owned by the Veluzat family.

      Part One
      The Melody Ranch story really begins in 1922,
      when Trem Carr came out West to make movies.
      The 1920s saw him make several pictures in the Santa Clarita Valley,
      particularly in Placerita Canyon, where he started Monogram Pictures
      with a partner. There he hooked up with Ernie Hickson, an astute set designer,
      historian and collector of Western Americana.
      Hickson built a Western movie town for Monogram,
      just east of the modern-day Placerita Canyon Road exit off of State Route 14
      (where Disney's Golden Oak Ranch is located today).
      When Carr's lease expired in 1936 Hickson bought a 10-acre parcel at Oak Creek
      and Placerita Canyon roads and moved his movie town there.

      ................................................ Close up of stairs to one of the hacienda/mexican village buildings

      In 1937, Monogram Studios signed a long term lease on the property
      with a stipulation that the ranch be known as Monogram Ranch.

      Known as the Monogram Ranch during the 1930s and renamed Placeritos Ranch
      in the '40s, the town hosted its share of climactic Hollywood moments.
      It was on one of the dusty Western streets at the ranch that "High Noon's"
      immortal face-down played itself out

      Just about every old celluloid cowboy to ride across the silver screen
      ambled through this Monogram set at one time or another —
      men like John Wayne,(who shot about 35 different movies).
      Its Old West town served as the location for the finale
      of the John Wayne classic, "Stagecoach."

      Harry Carey, Tom Tyler, Ken Maynard,
      Hoot Gibson, Johnny Mack Brown, Bob Steele,
      William S. Hart, Gary Cooper,
      Tom Mix, Roy Rogers, Bill Boyd,
      all filmed there, and of course the legendary
      Singing Cowboy himself, Gene Autry,
      who shot many of his early Republic westerns here,
      including his first film, "Tumbling Tumbleweeds.
      In 1952, Gary Cooper shot it out with the bad guys in the unforgettable "High Noon".

      ................The mexican village. .................The mission in the distance and the hacienda closeup.

      Ernie Hickson died on January 22, 1952.
      Since 1915, when the studio was first opened for business,
      an endless string of hard riding shoot-em-ups have been produced
      at this location.
      Monogram studios made 750 "B" westerns before selling the ranch
      to singing cowboy Gene Autry in 1952.

      The backside of one of the western streets.

      Autry purchased his old stomping grounds, which he renamed "Melody Ranch,"
      and moved into a farm house which still stands on the property.
      Contrary to what one might assume, Autry's weekly television series
      in the 1950s was not filmed at Melody Ranch,
      but hundreds of other feature films and television programs were,
      including Gunsmoke and Wyatt Earp.

      Legendary cowboy actors, filmed their westerns
      here until 1962 when a fire swept through Placerita Canyon
      destroying the main western street.
      Photos of one of the western streets during the 1950's
      prior to the devastating fire that swept through the ranch.

      Part Two
      The magic was not to last. On August 28, 1962,
      a violent firestorm swept through Placerita Canyon
      and engulfed most of the movie town's original Western structures.

      Elvis Presley was on location here at the time, shooting "Kissin’ Cousins,"
      helped battle the flames, but to little avail.

      Gene Autry recalled
      The television show Combat used the ranch 2 months later.

      Filming a scene on the western street

      Annie Oakley, was one of the TV series filmed here


      Gail Davis 'Annie Oakley'

      Brothers Renaud and Andre Veluzat, longtime Newhall residents
      and film industry executives, quickly purchased the parcel and
      restored the Western movie ranch to its former glory in 1991.

      In 1990, Renaud and Andre Veluzat purchased these final acres
      (which contained most of the standing sets before the fire) for a reported $975,000.
      They immediately built a western street with a lot of the buildings
      replicas of the original buildings.
      Filming the Annie Oakley series with Gail Davis

      The original western street on the ranch ran east/west.
      A complete adobe village/fort resided at the end of this street,
      offset somewhat from camera view. A complete adobe ranch, still in existence,
      is at the northeast corner of the current ranch.
      Situated around the property were several ranch houses and outlaw cabins.
      A main ranch set was north of the western street.
      A schoolhouse/church was just north of that set.
      Between the western street and the ranch set were the mission
      and the tran depot

      In the decades after the fire, Autry and his business manager
      — wife Jackie — sold off portions of the 110-acre ranch.
      The final ten acres, where the buildings had stood,
      went on the market in November, 1990.
      Gene Autry maintained the rest of the ranch for his horse Champion
      until the horse passed in 1990.
      He then put the ranch up for sale.
      Gene moved his large collection of Western memorabilia
      to his new Gene Autry Museum.

      Main Street.(Click on photo)

      Melody Ranch has been brought back to life with the restoration
      of the famous western street. Melody Ranch Studio features
      a massive western town
      with interiors in the saloon, bank, jail, general store, hotel, church,
      school, livery stable,
      and theatre. There is a farm house, ranch house,
      Victorian home,
      and beautiful Spanish / adobe hacienda all with interiors.
      There are many stairways, balconies, and hundreds of feet of boardwalks
      that round out this amazing film location.

      Today, modern superstars like Jeff Bridges filmed the
      1995, movie "Wild Bill" (where it stood in for Deadwood, South Dakota)
      and Bruce Willis and James Garner. filmed "Sunset"
      Randy Travis also filmed at the ranch.
      They shot the CBS TV series, "The Magnificent Seven"
      and even more recently they shot the highly acclaimed HBO series,

      Melody Ranch Motion Picture Studio is constantly producing
      'new' legends as they mesmerize
      new movie-goers and television audiences with
      the timeless drama of the American West.

      Part Three

      As it is today
      Melody Ranch Motion Picture Studio

      Melody Ranch Motion Picture Studio in Santa Clarita Valley,
      California is a 22 acre back lot all located in the 30 mile zone





      You can experience a page torn from history
      on the street where famous westerns were made such as,
      The Lone Ranger, Wyatt Earp, Gunsmoke, Hopalong Cassidy,
      Annie Oakly, Rin Tin Tin and The Cisco Kid.
      Yes many things have changed but the old west hasn' least not at Melody Ranch.
      Courtsey of Melody Ranch Studios

      Melody Ranch as it is now

      Melody Ranch Motion Picture Studio


      Virtual Tours
      (Click on Photos for virtual Tour)

      ................Western Town A..................................Western Town B

      ................Western Town Square...........................Theatre

      ................Victorian House Interior..........................Saloon

      The studios sound stages range from 11,200 to 22,000 sq. ft.,
      35 to 45 foot tall ceilings with clear spans, cat walks,
      6600 amp electric service, 80-200 ton air conditioning, 6000 sq. ft.
      of storage rooms, drive in doors, insulated in black,
      sound proofed and audience rated.

      Sound Sage B – 11,200 sq. ft., 140 x 80 x 35 tall,
      6,600 amp electric service, and drive in door.
      Air conditioned

      ..........Sound Stage B (Interior)................................Sound Stage C
      (Click on photos for virtual tour)

      Yes, many things have changed but the old west hasn't...
      at least not at Melody Ranch Studio.

      Compiled and edited by ethanedwards with information from various sources
      including Leon Worden, Gene Autry and Renaud Veluzat.
      Jerry L. Schneider, Melody Ranch Movie Studio

      For more information:-
      Melody Ranch Motion Picture Studio

      For further information;-
      Melody Ranch- Wikipedia

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

      The post was edited 124 times, last by ethanedwards ().