Mescal, Arizona – May 2022 – Old West Movie Studio

For many decades when Hollywood wanted to make a Western movie, they came to Arizona, with Tucson alone having over 1500 location credits on IMDB.

About 40 miles east of downtown Tucson is a small dusty town of Mescal. Just north of town, with a perfect backdrop of the Rincon Mountains, is the Mescal Movie Studio.

Originally built in 1968 for the movie Monte Walsh, it was one of the settings for a number of famous movies including Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean, Tombstone, The Quick and the Dead, as well as many TV shows including Little House on the Prairie.

Over the years it had fallen into disrepair, until recently when a local family purchased it and began restoring it. Each Friday, Saturday and Sunday they are open for tours, which include volunteer actors.

Our docent lead us on a very informative 1 hour tour. While not a fan of western movies in general, the tour, and the history of the place makes this a great stop – far better than the tacky touristy setting of the actual town of Tombstone.

One of the clock faces from the movie The Quick and the Dead – a key to the movie’s plot.

Tombstone, Arizona – December 2021 – A Dead Town on a Sunday Morning

The tourist bureau says Tombstone, Arizona is ‘authentic old west’, and the town is on the National Historic Registry. While the buildings are old, it is tough to claim it is authentic when there is an Italian Gelato stand and Harley Davidson dealership.

We were there about 8 AM on a Sunday morning, before the tourists arrived so the only people we saw were the actors getting ready for their day. Regardless it made for some interesting photos.

And with that it is time to get the stagecoach out of town…..