'Westworld' Western set burns down in Southern California's fast-moving Woolsey wildfire

'Westworld' Western set burns down in Southern California's fast-moving Woolsey wildfire

November 10, 2018 0 By admin


Maria Puente


USA TODAY

Published 8:17 PM EST Nov 9, 2018

Hollywood’s historic Western Town set at Paramount Ranch in Agoura Hills, California, where “Westworld” and other TV shows and movies have filmed, burned down Friday in the fast-moving Woolsey wildfire, according to the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.

Shortly after noon in California, the park tweeted the bad news:

“We are sorry to share the news that the #WoolseyFire has burned Western Town at #ParamountRanch in Agoura. We do not have any details or photos, but it is our understanding that the structures have burned. This area is an active part of the incident and we cannot access it.”

“Westworld” star Evan Rachel Wood was shocked.

“This is eerie. So sad for the history lost. Amazed the church is still standing,” she posted.

The wind-driven wildfire has raged through Southern California communities since Thursday, burning homes and forcing thousands of people to flee as it pushed toward tony Malibu and the Pacific Ocean. The park itself also has been closed due to the fire. 

Variety reported that “Westworld” used the Western Town set to shoot its Main Street scenes. The HBO series also is shot at its primary location at the Melody Ranch in Santa Clarita, as well as in Utah and other locations.

The Hollywood Reporter noted the show is not currently in production, but the Paramount Ranch set was one of the locations used during Seasons 1 and 2.

“As the area has been evacuated, we do not yet know the extent of the damage to any structures remaining there,”  HBO said in a statement to THR.

Photographers tweeted pictures of some of the damage from the fire.

Paramount Ranch, formerly the “movie ranch” for Paramount Pictures, is a popular tourist destination, especially for those interested in Hollywood history.

Local news media tweeted “before” pictures of the set.

During the 1930s, filmmakers were attracted to the beauty of the Santa Monica Mountains stretching north and west of the city of Los Angeles, and to a diverse landscape that allowed creation of sets such as colonial Massachusetts, ancient China, a South Seas island, and numerous western locales, including old San Francisco in “Wells Fargo” (1937).

Since the National Park Service bought part of the ranch in 1980, it has been used for shows such as “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman,” which was shot there from 1992-1997, according to the park website. In recent years, some of the films shot there include “American Sniper,” “The Love Bug” and “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,” according to THR.

Contributing: The Associated Press

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