Headshot of Kuiper in Westworld church. One ear is at half mast and one is up.

Goodbye, Paramount Ranch

Kuiper visits Westworld at Paramount Ranch, now lost to the California fires. ๐Ÿ˜ข Please stay safe, CA friends.

Not to downplay the loss of life and homes, but I’m sad to report that a small piece of history was destroyed last week. Western Town at Paramount Ranch burned down Friday in the Woolsey fire. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ Kuiper’s dad and I were there just a little over a month ago.

We were SO excited to take pictures with this (fake) church used in Westworld. ๐Ÿค  We took a TON and they’reย some of my allย time favorites (swipe to see a few.) Incredibly, though the rest of the buildings at this historic filming location were completely razed, the church (which has a clear perimeter) is still standing.

Western Town at Paramount Ranch has been used in a billionty productions since the 50s, including Firefly, Gunsmoke, Streets of Laredo, the Cisco Kid, Dukes of Hazzard, MacGyver, Mathnet (a personal favorite ๐Ÿค“), Reading Rainbow ๐ŸŒˆ, Sabrina the Teenaged Witch, X Files, Herbie the Love Bug, Scream and basically all of Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman. The “town” was made in 1953 by William Hertz, built with Paramount Pictures’ old storage sheds.

The surrounding land was purchased by Paramount Pictures in 1927 to use its landscape as a 2,700 acre movie ranch. Countless films ๐ŸŽฅ were shot here in the 30s and 40s, even before Western Town was built. William Hertz sold his portion of the property in 1955, and in 1980 it came into possession of the National Park Service. ๐Ÿž๏ธ As part of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, the Ranch was a wonderful place to visit, with several hiking trails.

The site was super dog friendly ๐Ÿถ, and open to the public even during filming ๐ŸŽฌ (as long as you were quiet and didn’t bug actors.) We didn’t have a chance to see exactly what they were working on, but the day we were there, 1/2 the town was roped off and there were signs up saying “filming in progress.” ๐Ÿ˜

We love history, and we love Westworld, but at the end of the day, people matter more. If you’d like to join us in donating to the human and animal victims of the southern California fires, take a look at “Ventura Sudden and Urgent Needs Effort.

Original post: https://www.instagram.com/p/BqDXLCmD5b8/

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