One of the L.A. area’s most famous movie locations has become a casualty of the destructive wildfires raging across the region.
According to the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, the structures that make up Western Town at Paramount Ranch in Agoura have burned. According to the Los Angeles Public Library’s website, the decades-old movie set is the only “working movie western town in the National Parks System.”
We are sorry to share the news that the #WoolseyFire has burned Western Town at #ParamountRanch in Agoura. We do not have any details or photos, but it is our understanding that the structures have burned. This area is an active part of the incident and we cannot access it. pic.twitter.com/oC4n7KR8ZT
— Santa Monica Mtns (@SantaMonicaMtns) November 9, 2018
Paramount Purchased the land, formerly part of the old Racho Las Virgenes, in 1927, and in 1953 a man named William Hertz—who’d moved to California several years earlier to become a cowboy—and his father Robert used a hunk of the land they’d recently purchased to build an old-timey western town. According to the Malibu Times, they’d initially planned to use it as a dude ranch, but instead placed ads in the trades and changed tack when studios expressed interest in using it as a filming location.
Over the years, Western Town has served as a backdrop on TV shows including Zane Grey Theater, Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman, and, much more recently, Westworld; movies filmed at Paramount Ranch include The Cisco Kid, The Great Outdoors, The Love Bug, The Texan, and Sutter’s Gold. To see it in its former glory, check out this photo and video tour from California Through My Lens.
Sad for fans of @WestworldHBO and shows like Dr Quinn Medicine Woman, the Paramount Ranch western town movie set has burned to the ground in the Woolsey Fire @CBSLA #westworld #Woolseyfire pic.twitter.com/DhZWaGbr6g
— John Schreiber (@johnschreiber) November 9, 2018
The Woolsey Fire currently encompasses 14,000 acres, and has caused evacuations in Malibu, Thousand Oaks, and Oak Park (see full list of evacuations here.)
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