Old Tucson Studios   4 comments

Old Tucson Studios — Photo-Artistry by kenne

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — It’s been just over a year since Old Tucson Studios closed its doors.
The famous western attraction shuttered because of the pandemic. Now, after a long and at times
secretive process, Pima County is getting ready to announce who will take over the lease.

“The proposal period now has closed and they are actively considering whatever proposals have come in,”
said filmmaker and Chair of the Arizona Film Expo, Daryl Mallett.

Mallet was also a member of the Pima County Old Tucson Task Force. They helped in the county’s
process of finding the right developer to take over the lease of Old Tucson. Although he doesn’t know
who County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry will recommend to the supervisors, he does get a sense
the decision will be announced soon. — Source: KGUN9.com

4 responses to “Old Tucson Studios

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  1. Ah, yes, “Old Tucson”! As a kid growing up in the Tucson area, I have many fond memories of the “town”.
    However, one my funniest memories I have goes back to my crazy college days.

    I had a room mate who’d told me that he’d walked out to the Desert Museum the year before. I loved to walk so I thought to myself, “Hey, I can do that”.

    So, I started out from my dorm on the UofA campus on a rather chilly, cloudy, late October morning. It was so cool and cloudy that I didn’t feel it necessary to take any water with me. Big mistake there. NEVER GO OUT IN THE DESERT ALONE WITHOUT WATER! Why didn’t I think of that?

    Well, walking up the road towards Gates Pass, the clouds parted, and the sun came out and began to beat down mercilessly. It wasn’t long before I got VERY thirsty! I talked myself into the notion that surely there must be some water in the picnic area at the top of Gates Pass. NOPE!

    As I started down the west side of the Pass, my need for water began to get critical. The stripe in the middle of the road began to blur and look double. Uh-oh! I had to think of something fast.

    Enter Old Tucson. To follow the road to the front entrance gate would be about 2-3 miles since the road circumnavigated the outside perimeter of the theme park. I realized that I wasn’t going to make it. But if I cut across the desert to the back of the theme park, that would cut the distance to a mile or less. That’s what I did.

    I walked across the open desert in the general direction of the theme park until I came to a barb wire fence. I crawled through the fence, walked over the railroad track and entered the back of the park.
    I immediately went into the “saloon” and bought the largest Coke they had and chugged it down. Then I went in a second time and bought another.

    Since I had entered the theme park illegally, I felt guilty about what I’d done. So, I went to the front gate and tried to explain to the guard what I had done and tried to pay for a ticket. He was incredulous. “WHAT! You WALKED out here? You have GOT to be kidding!” He couldn’t believe my story and refused to accept any money.

    So, I went back into the park, bought one more extra large Coke and left again the way I’d come in. It was starting to get late so the sun wasn’t beating down quite so hard anymore and I had an uneventful walk back to town. I never did manage to walk all the way out to the Desert Museum. I got back to my dorm long after it had already gotten dark.

    Moral to the story: Always take water with you wherever you go!

    I sincerely hope that someone will eventually step forward and buy Old Tucson and reopen it. It was always a great place to take kids even if the depiction of the “Old West” is hardly accurate.

    Fred M. Cain,
    Topeka, IN

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nice story. I could see myself doing such a walk, years ago. The only time I walk without water is in the morning when I walk in the neighborhood.
    Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kenne,

      I might just add that this was in the fall of 1971 that I did that. You might be older than me but probably not much older.

      Fred M. Cain


  3. While watching the slow-TV Beatles documentary “Get Back” late last year I got to hear the exchange regarding how McCartney landed on Tucson Arizona in that song lyric: “It’s where they make ‘High Chaparral.’”

    Liked by 1 person

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