Sunday, February 22, 2009

Favorite Places


MESCAL, ARIZONA is a movie set owned by Old Tucson Studios. It's open to the public for guided tours but best to call in advance as occasionally the set is closed for use by companies doing commercials or the rare movie production.
It stands alone now, abandoned except for Frank Brown, a seventy-something caretaker who heads up the tours. You couldn't ask for a better GHOST TOWN, as the storefronts are weathered, some windows broken, tumbleweeds treading the streets where once Wyatt Earp and friends strode. It's a great venue for picture taking, and if you go in costume you can reenact the famous walk to the O.K. Corral. Among the movies made here (entirely or in part) are THE OUTLAW JOSIE WALES, TOMBSTONE, TOM HORN, MONTE WALSH (the original), SEVEN MUMMIES, and too many others to mention.
The town is twenty or so miles south of Tucson, but the suburbs are closing in, and in ten or twenty years it will surely come down so that condos can be erected. In the meantime, it's a good chance to see an old western town as it was. Forget Old Tucson Studios (although it's a fun day on its own), Mescal is uncorrupted by the theme park mentality that has somewhat ruined the parent company. So go now, and go often.

2 comments:

  1. I am in total agreement with you BHC. I was able to tour Old Tucson Studios before it burned down a decade or more ago. Now it's just not the same. Mescal is the real thing and is just what you would expect a western movie set to be like. This is as good a place as Almeria's Mini Hollywood and Texas Hollywood as far as I'm concerned. I'd love to visit it again.

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  2. It is a tough place to visit these days, amigos.
    They have been closed to the public for over a year, now.
    They say it is because they are shooting more movies there--and if that is truly the case, then that is great news!
    Also, I don't think Ol' Frank is around there, anymore, either.
    That last bit is pure rumor; but, I did notice that you can't see his trailer from I-10 anymore...and just a year or so ago, you could.
    I love Mescal, too; but, unlike Tom I never saw Old Tucson Studios until about three years ago..and since the HIGH CHAPARRAL location is intact, I think it is a great place! But, that's just me.

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