The historic Western Town outdoor set at Paramount Ranch in Agoura Hills, California has become a victim of the Woolsey wildfire currently raging across that area of the state. The site has been a current location for the HBO series Westworld.
The news of the loss of the location came via the Santa Monica Mountains National recreation area’s Twitter feed –
Western Town wasn’t the only location that Westworld used. The series also shoots at the Melody Ranch in Santa Clarita and in various locales in Utah.
Paramount Pictures bought the location in 1927. While still owned by Paramount, the area was used to recreate numerous different locales including colonial Massachusette for 1937’s The Maid Of Salem and ancient China in 1938’s The Adventures Of Marco Polo. It also featured in numerous westerns shot by the studio as well as the Bob Hope – Dorothy Lamour comedy Caught In The Draft.
The studio sold to the property in 1953 to William Hertz. A fan of western movies, he cannibalized a number of old prop sheds left by the studio to build a permanent replica western town. It quickly attracted the attention of many western television series as a shooting location including The Cisco Kid and Zane Grey Theatre. After Hertz sold the property, it went through a number of hands until it was acquired by the National Park Service in 1980. The NPS revitalized Western Town and it was soon being featured in film and television productions.
More recently, it was also used as a primary locale for the television series Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman and Hulu’s Quickdraw (2013 – 2014).