About three hours north of Hollywood and a million miles from urban life, nestled in the foothills of the Eastern Sierra Nevada, the little town of Lone Pine, California and the nearby Alabama Hills has been the location for hundreds of films, commercials and television shows. Since the early years of film making, directors and actors, producers and their production units large and small have packed up and left Hollywood for the great outdoors.
Lone Pine’s Museum of Western Film History is dedicated to preserving and documenting the American cowboy in film. The Museum’s exhibits include a tribute to the Miller Brother’s 101 Ranch in Oklahoma and the ranch’s early (1900-1910) Wild West Shows featuring future movie cowboy stars Tom Mix, Hoot Gibson, Ken Maynard and Jack Hoxie to name a few. These early performers became the first Western super stars of the silent film era.
Exhibits honoring the heritage of the Western film include memorabilia from iconic Western heroes such as John Wayne, Randolph Scott and Audie Murphy, as well as characters Hopalong Cassidy (William Boyd), the Lone Ranger and Zorro. Also, an exhibit honoring the Golden Age of the Singing Cowboys pays tribute to the great singing stars including Gene Autry, Roy Rogers and Tex Ritter. Sidekicks, directors and stuntmen are honored along with their films from one of America’s greatest movie periods.
The Museum also pays tribute to the many movies made locally in the Alabama Hills (over 400), including several high profile non-westerns – Gunga Din, High Sierra, Star Trek, Star Wars and the classic sci-fi hit, Tremors. Contemporary films like Gladiator, Iron Man and Superman, Man of Steel, are represented. The Museum is fortunate that Quentin Tarantino thought Lone Pine the perfect place for scenes for his 2012 release, Django Unchained, and our lobby is now the home for the dentist’s wagon from the movie, a signed script and Quentin’s director chair.
Come visit and enjoy a very unique film experience … and join us each October on Columbus Day weekend for our annual Lone Pine Film Festival honoring the heroes and heroines of the silver screen. Mingle with the celebrity guests, visit the movie sites on one of the "back lot” tours; and, enjoy classic film screenings, panels and discussions. A Sunday Cowboy Church service, an old fashion “Main Street” Parade and Sunday evening campfire roundup in the park closes the weekend. See www.lonepinefilmfestival.org
The Museum of Western Film History is located at 701 S. Main Street, Lone Pine, CA, 760-876-9909.
Please see website for hours, events and updates, www.museumofwesternfilmhistory.org.
Pet Friendly Notes: We love pets, but only service dogs are permitted in the exhibit rooms.