Over years of research it became evident very early on that the Old West as we know it from Hollywood does not really exist, anywhere, with any quality except of course on the Silver Screen.  I traveled to many areas where you would expect to see it – like Tombstone, but it’s not there.  The only places that have that “movie-set quality” look are, well, movie sets. But none with the exception of Melody Ranch (movie set for the series Deadwood) located in Santa Clarita, California which only offers tours occasionally and is open to the public one long weekend a year.  It’s surrounded by houses and will never be a theme attraction. There are several Western Town movie sets in New Mexico, and again, none of which are open to the public as an active theme attraction.

Old Tucson Studios is it.  There is room to grow on 320 acres, is the home, heart and soul to countless wonderful Western movies and TV series, and is already a functioning Western Movie Set town.  Unfortunately, after the 1995 fire, it was never rebuilt to the original look and feel and more importantly the magic it once had.  That is our mission – put it back the way it was and add to that.  The Old Tucson Foundation will be the real crown, as that entity will be able to fund film projects as well as coordinate the receipt of wonderful memorabilia collections of both Cowboy and Indian art, antiques and artifacts.  Film makers and their production offices will be based on site, same as they do at the other studios like Warner Brothers and Paramount.  It should be quite a ride.

Old Tucson can truly be, and should be, the international headquarters for The American West, the Real West and, of course, the Hollywood West.   So come be a cowboy at Old Tucson Studios.

Happy Trails!



7 thoughts on “Introduction”

  1. I hope Old Tucson can be improved I haven’t been in years since the fire and when they rebuilt – I was not impressed.

    1. Go out and see what they are building right in the middle of the town. The construction isn’t going to make it prefect but it is a 100% improvement. Bob Shelton was in on the initial design team and he recommended production designer Gene Rudolf who is overseeing the project. I know for a fact they are trying to bring back the magic and they have hired one of the best in the business.

      1. In response to AZ1889…I hope sooo much that they will try to revive the place. I read a disturbing article in Tucson Weekly written in 2003 saying that the current owners, Diamond and Pitt, want to turn Old Tucson into a water park!!! What a nightmare. Can you imagine? How rediculous would THAT be??? Old Tucson is a piece of history…

        1. A Water Park, that is sick! How stupid could anyone be to even think of this? I guess my generation, one who likes history and westerns are fading away.

    1. You people have obviously not been to Old Tucson recently. They basically built out the whole center of town with period looking buildings designed by Production Designer Gene Rudolf who did Young Guns and many other films. The place looks great and much more like the old Old Tucson. Go to their webpage and see the pictures. They are changing the way the place looks and offering more educational living history presentations. I heard that they also are having the Sons of the Pioneers perform at a Cowboy Music Festival in late April.

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