Old Tucson Studios

Grit and glamour mix together in the desert at a unique and wonderful spot known as “Hollywood of the Desert”. Old Tucson Studios started in 1939 when a replica of 1860’s Tucson was built for the movie, Arizona. After the release of this film starring William Holden and Jean Arthur, a new standard in western filmmaking occurred. Studio backdrops were out and realism was in.

It took almost a decade before Old Tucson Studios came into its heyday with films such as The Last Roundup, Winchester ’73 and The Last Outpost being filmed here. An all time classic film, Gunfight at the OK Corral was filmed at Old Tucson Studios in the 1950’s along with many other westerns.

In 1959, something else happened that would transform Old Tucson Studios from an occasionally used ghost town to a full blown studio and amusement park. What happened was a Midwest entrepreneur with a vision, Robert Shelton, leased the property and restored it from a forgotten movie set into a viable film studio and amusement park.

As movies continued to film here, the sets contributed to the park’s growth. Saloons, hotels, cantinas, and jails were added as needed for movie productions. As the selection of sets grew, so did the attention from Hollywood and more movie makers flocked to Old Tucson Studios. In the late 1960’s, Shelton built a 13,000 square foot soundstage and bought another property, Mescal, as a second filming location.

Numerous big name movie stars filmed westerns throughout the 70’s and 80’s. The beloved television series, Little House on the Prairie, and Gunsmoke also called Old Tucson Studios and Mescal home.

Additions to the park included a train depot, an antique carousel and antique car rides. An 1872 steam locomotive called The Reno was purchased and delivered in 1970 and has since starred in hundreds of films and television programs.

The 90’s brought renewed interest in westerns with films such as The Young Riders and Tombstone reviving the genre. Moviemakers continue to use Old Tucson Studios to this day which makes visiting this historic and fun site a must-see stop on your Tucson itinerary.

When you visit Old Tucson Studios, you’ll experience Old West entertainment at its best with gunfights, cowboy stunts, music and comedy shows, rides, arcade games, special events and tours. You can even take a trail ride along the desert trails where many of your favorite cowboys once rode.

Old Tucson Studios is a charming location for weddings, parties, banquets and other special events with gorgeous scenery and an Old West atmosphere. You can stage your private event at the High Chaparral, Stage 2 or the Grand Palace Hotel and Saloon.

Old Tucson Studios is open from 10:00AM to 4:00PM daily and costs $14.95 for adults and $9.45 for children ages 4-11 (children 3 and under are free). Step back in time and visit the Old Tucson Studios.

Old Tucson Studios
201 S. Kinney Road
Tucson, AZ 85735


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