If you’re looking for a spot to film an outer-space creature flick or authentic Wild West adventure, Lone Pine is the location. Hundreds of movies, commercials, and TV series have used the area's rugged and expansive scenery since 1920 -- from The Round Up starring Fatty Arbuckle, to modern-day classics like Iron Man and Django Unchained.
The Museum of Western Film History is filled with an ever-expanding inventory of movie memorabilia and props. The worm from the cult-classic Tremors has taken up residence at the museum, and it’s the make-shift barn for Dr. King Schultz's wagon from Django Unchained -- it still has the bouncing molar on top donated by Quentin Tarantino. There is also a signed copy of the script at the museum.
Pick up a map for a tour of movie locations in the area, like Gunga Din and the Lone Ranger, both filmed at the epicenter of Lone Pine's attraction in the Alabama Hills.
The Lone Pine Festival, held every Columbus Day Weekend, includes behind the scenes recollections of films, as well as Q&A's with actors, writers, and directors. There are guided tours of movie locations, stuntman demonstrations on some years, and the town turns into Hollywood for a weekend.
Hours for the museum are Monday-Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Mike Bodine has been reporting on the small town news and gossip of the Eastside for more than 15 years.