Known as Arizona's Hollywood in the Desert, Old Tucson Studios was voted "Best Western Movie Set" by True West magazine, and is listed among five one-of-a-kind Tucson sites by USA Today.  The site for more than 300 film and television projects since 1939, it is one of the most active filming locations for Western-themed movies, television, cable shows and commercials in the United States.

Arizona Filmed At Old Tucson StudiosOld Tucson Studios came to life in 1939 when Columbia Pictures chose a Pima County-owned property on which to build a replica of 1860's Tucson the movie Arizona.  The $2.5 million film, starring William Holden and Jean Arthur, set a new standard of realism for Hollywood westerns, initiating the move away from studio backdrop movies to outdoor epics.

More than 50 buildings were erected from scratch in 40 days by local technicians and carpenters.  Descendants of the Tohono O’odham, Arizona’s first inhabitants formerly known as the Papago, assisted in the set production. Without the convenience of running water, they made more than 350,000 adobe bricks from the desert dirt to create authentic structures for the film. Many of those structures still stand today.

After the filming of Arizona, Old Tucson Studios lay dormant baking under the desert sun.  The studio was revived briefly for the film The Bells of St. Mary’s (1945), starring Bing Crosby and Ingrid Bergman. Hollywood then began taking notice of Old Tucson Studios, and it became a favorite filming location.

Passing through the gates of this old frontier town, visitors from around the globe are transported back to a time when fearless men with six shooters ruled the Old West. Saunter down the streets of Hollywood's most famous movies; walk in the footsteps of movie legends like John Wayne, Clint Eastwood and hundreds more.

There is something for everyone to do in this legendary town.  From cowboy gunfights and daring stunts to rip-roarin’ musical revues and comedies, Old Tucson Studios offers exciting Old West entertainment. Take a guided tour of this historic Tucson attraction and you’ll be amazed by its rich film history. You can get all gussied up in some old-fashioned duds for an old-time photo or take a miniature train ride into the beautiful desert surrounding the park. 

          JUDI MONDAY, CRS         


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