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February 1996, Week 2


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Russell Belknap <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 7 Feb 1996 09:53:10 -0800
text/plain (69 lines)
This is a follow up to our original querry regarding the
          historic Paramount Movie Ranch.
          We are looking specificaly for any historical information or
          sources of original source material on the Paramount
          Movie Ranch, Paramount Studios, or historic movie ranches.
          We are also interested in ideas and sources of support for
          possible partnerships or assistence to preserve and
          interpret this unique site.
          The Paramount Ranch is, we believe, the the best and last
          remaining example of a studio owned movie ranch. Few of the
          old movie ranches, including the private ranches, have
          survived. These were once an integral part of the movie
          production system during the "golden era of the studios".
          We also believe that the Paramount Ranch may be the best
          site in the US to preserve and interprete the story of the
          American Movie industry. To our knowledge, it may be the
          Independence Hall of movie history since in the entire
          country, only 3 properties are being preserved for their
          association with movie making.
          The property has been owned by the National Park Service
          since 1980. Unfortunataly some loss of historical integrity
          has occured on the property. We are now trying to research
          the history of the property and understand its historical
          use and significance in order to develop management plans
          for its preservation and use. The site currently serves as
          the location for the TV show "Dr Quinn Medicine Woman". A
          number of buildings and structures survive on the property
          from the Paramount Studio era circa 1924-1952. They are,
          however, in various states of modification from the
          Paramount era.
          The Dr Quinn town set occupies what was
          the operational center of the movie ranch with some of the
          original shed buildings "hidden" by the set. None of the
          historic sets remain, however, the sites of these set
          locations survive. Also, the ranch is currently a
          representation of the original ranch, including the
          operational center and surrounding landscape where sets were
          located. Much of the original movie ranch has been
          subdivided and developed following the fate of many historic
          movie properties. Although it is still somewhat
          difficult when visiting the site to gain an understanding
          and feeling for the significant movie making history and
          activity which occurred on the property, we hope in the
          future to more effectively convey this history to the
          visiting public.
          The site is located in the Santa Monica Mountains National
          Recreation Area. It may be reached from
          L.A. by taking the 101 fwy North. In Agoura, take the Kanan
          Dume Rd. exit South about 1/4 mile to Cornell Rd. left. Go
          South on Cornell Rd. about 1 1/2 miles to the site entry
          sign. For additional information you may call the NPS Santa
          Monica Mountains Park information office at (818) 597-9192
          I am looking for information associated with either the
          history of Paramount Studios, the former Paramount Ranch,
          and historic movie ranches or individuals and organizations
          that may have such information.
          Please send responses to: [log in to unmask]
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