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.