Historic filming location for HBO's Westworld burns down in Cali wildfire

Sergio Cunningham
November 10, 2018

The Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area has tweeted that Southern California's huge wildfire has apparently destroyed the TV and movie production location known as "Western Town" at the historic Paramount Ranch. We don't have details or photos, but it's our understanding that the structures have all burned. (These spots were under 35 miles from Hollywood, because the unions required studios to pay employees extra if they had to travel farther than that for work.) Paramount Ranch in particular was the home of tons of high-profile projects, from old westerns like The Virginian to shows like Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman and HBO's Carnivale.

The Malibu, Calabasas, and Agoura areas are all being evacuated due to the Woolsey fire.

KTTV Los Angeles said the Paramount Ranch set had been used for countless movies and TV shows over the years.

Paramount Ranch was purchased by the titular studio in the late 1920s and served as foreign locales for directors and actors like Cecil B. Demille, Bob Hope, and Gary Cooper, according to the official website. It was acquired by the National Park Service in 1980 but has continued to function as a filming location, serving as a location for the first two seasons of the sci-fi series "Westworld".

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Westworld has also had scenes shot at Melody Ranch in Santa Clarita, and other locations, including Utah as well. Westworld season 3 has not yet started production.

The Woolsey Fire is burning in both Los Angeles and Ventura Counties, causing at least 75,000 homes to be evacuated. Westworld is not now in production, and as the area has been evacuated, we do not yet know the extent of the damage to any structures remaining there. Recent productions filmed at Paramount include "The Mentalist", "Weeds", and Hulu's "Quickdraw"(2013-2014).

HBO expressed concern for "all those affected by these frightful fires". He asked his almost two million Twitter followers to use the hashtag #CampFireJamesWoods to help share the names of those who are missing in a separate wildfire in Northern California.

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