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Experience movie making at Paramount Ranch National Park

The only National Park site dedicated to film making. A Bartell's Backroads Pit Stop adventure

AGOURA HILLS, Calif. — In 1927, Paramount Pictures needed a versatile place to film movies and TV shows, so they leased some land in Agora Hills. Today, that land is known as Paramount Ranch

You may recognize the fake train depot from the 1990s TV show "Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman." 

“They had a bunch of other buildings here just for that show because they were here for six years,” said National Park Service spokesperson Ana Beatriz Cholo.

Long before Jane Seymour and Joe Lando were saving lives on the frontier, Paramount Ranch was the backdrop for countless actors during the Golden Era of movie making. 

“162 films were created between 1927 and 1943,” Cholo said. 

Today, Paramount Ranch is part of the National Park Service, but the land is still used by Hollywood. 

“The white church was from HBO’s 'Westworld,' Cholo said.

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The ranch wasn’t just for western shows. In the late 1950s, there was a raceway that weaved through the park, but it closed to actual racing in 1957 after two fatal crashes. The track was however featured in Disney’s 1968 film "The Love Bug."

When the National Park Service took over operations in the 1980s, they dedicated the park to filmmaking. Today, it’s the only national park that invites the public to working film sets. 

“Fans can come watch them film the shows,” Cholo said.

In November of 2018, the Woolsey Fire swept through the park and destroyed many historic film sets. 

“It was devastating to lose (them), but the good news is we will be rebuilding,” Cholo said. 

While rebuilding takes place, you can still hike, sight see and ride horses.

HIT THE BACKROADS:  Summer is here! Plan your ultimate road trip with John Bartell's list of California's top 10 destinations to visit.

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