Located in the scenic desert landscape of Tucson, Arizona, Old Tucson Studios is a destination that is sure to delight history buffs, movie enthusiasts, and families alike. This unique attraction offers a glimpse into the past of Hollywood and the Wild West, as it has served as a filming location for numerous movies and TV shows since 1939.
How to get Old Tucson Studios
Old Tucson Studios is located at 201 S Kinney Rd, Tucson, AZ 85735. Here are some ways to get to Old Tucson Studios:
- Car: The most convenient way to get to Old Tucson Studios is by car. The studio is located about 15 miles west of downtown Tucson. From downtown, take I-10 westbound and exit at Speedway Blvd (exit 257). Turn left onto Speedway Blvd and follow the signs to Old Tucson Studios.
- Public Transportation: If you don’t have access to a car, you can take public transportation to Old Tucson Studios. Sun Tran, the local bus service, has a bus stop right outside the entrance to the studio. You can take Bus #57 from downtown Tucson to get to Old Tucson Studios.
- Taxi or Ride-sharing: You can also take a taxi or use a ride-sharing service like Uber or Lyft to get to Old Tucson Studios. Just enter the address into your app and request a ride.
Once you arrive at Old Tucson Studios, there is plenty of parking available on site. Parking is free, and there are designated parking areas for buses, RVs, and other large vehicles.
Exploring Old Tucson Studios
As you step into the gates of Old Tucson Studios, you are transported back in time to the era of cowboys, saloons, and shootouts. The streets of the old town are lined with storefronts, a bank, a hotel, and even a jailhouse, all of which are reminiscent of the Old West. Walking through the dusty streets of Old Tucson Studios, you can almost hear the clanging of spurs and the whistling of the wind as the town comes to life before your eyes.
One of the highlights of Old Tucson Studios is the many shows and entertainment options available throughout the day. Visitors can watch gunfights, can-can shows, and stunt performances that are sure to entertain people of all ages. These shows are not just for entertainment, but also provide a glimpse into the Wild West and the dangers and hardships that came with it.
The studios have also been home to numerous movies and TV shows, including “The Magnificent Seven,” “Rio Bravo,” “Little House on the Prairie,” and “Bonanza.” You can visit the various sets and soundstages, where you’ll find authentic props and costumes from the various productions. For example, you can explore the exact set used for the 1960s television series “High Chaparral,” where you’ll find authentic props and costumes from the show, as well as exhibits that detail the show’s production history.
There are also plenty of interactive activities available at Old Tucson Studios. You can try your hand at panning for gold, take a ride on a stagecoach, or even go on a train ride around the property. For the little ones, there’s a petting zoo and a playground to keep them entertained.
In addition to the Western-themed activities, Old Tucson Studios also hosts special events throughout the year. During the holiday season, you can visit the studios for their Christmas-themed events, which include a tree lighting ceremony, visits with Santa, and holiday entertainment. The studios also host a Halloween event, where visitors can experience haunted hayrides, trick-or-treating, and other spooky activities.
What happened to Old Tucson Studios?
Old Tucson Studios has suffered multiple setbacks and challenges over the years. Here are some of the major events that have impacted the studio:
- Fires: Old Tucson Studios has experienced several devastating fires over the years. In 1995, a fire destroyed much of the studio, including the soundstage and many historic buildings. In 2004, another fire destroyed the saloon and other buildings. In 2011, a third fire destroyed the wardrobe building and other structures.
- Economic Challenges: Old Tucson Studios has faced financial difficulties over the years, which have led to changes in ownership and management. The studio has struggled to attract visitors, and the economic downturns have made it difficult to maintain the property and invest in new attractions.
- Pandemic: Like many other tourist destinations, Old Tucson Studios was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The studio was closed for several months in 2020, and when it reopened, it was operating at reduced capacity and with limited attractions.
Despite these challenges, Old Tucson Studios remains a beloved destination for visitors who are interested in the history of the Wild West and Hollywood. The current owners are committed to maintaining the property and investing in new attractions to keep the studio relevant for future generations.
How much does it cost to go to the Old Tucson Studios?
As of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021, here are the admission prices for Old Tucson Studios:
- General Admission (ages 12-64): $22.95
- Senior Admission (ages 65 and over): $20.95
- Child Admission (ages 4-11): $14.95
- Children under 4: Free
Admission prices include access to all shows and attractions within the park, as well as the opportunity to explore the historic buildings and sets. There are also discounts available for groups of 10 or more people, as well as military personnel and their families.
It’s always a good idea to check the Old Tucson Studios website or contact them directly for the most up-to-date pricing information and special promotions that may be available.
How many John Wayne movies were filmed in Old Tucson?
John Wayne is one of the most famous actors to have worked at Old Tucson Studios, and he starred in several movies that were filmed at the studio. According to the studio’s website, John Wayne filmed six movies at Old Tucson Studios:
- “Rio Bravo” (1959)
- “McLintock!” (1963)
- “El Dorado” (1966)
- “Rio Lobo” (1970)
- “Cahill U.S. Marshal” (1973)
- “Rooster Cogburn” (1975)
John Wayne was also involved in the development of Old Tucson Studios. He helped to design and build the original set for “Rio Bravo,” which became a permanent fixture at the studio and was used in many other productions over the years. Today, visitors to Old Tucson Studios can see the “Rio Bravo” set and other historic buildings and sets that were used in John Wayne’s movies and many others.
Old Tucson Studios is a unique and fascinating destination that offers a glimpse into the history of Hollywood and the Wild West. From the old town streets to the various shows and activities available, there is something for everyone at this destination. If you’re planning a trip to Tucson, Arizona, Old Tucson Studios is definitely worth a visit.