Flanked by the Saratoga Hills, Paramount Ranch is part of an ongoing history of filmmaking. The ranch includes a full western set with the requisite general store, saloon, and sheriff’s office. Yet, the location has been used in leu of San Francisco, Salem, the Pacific Islands, the Amazon, Kenya, Vietnam, Morocco, Israel, and more. Parts of The Cisco Kid, American Sniper, Planet of the Apes, and even The Flintstones were shot here.
The set was originally part of Rancho Las Virgenes. Paramount purchased 2,700 acres in 1927 for a wester set. Cecil B. Demille brought renowned actors to the set to film classic movies. While changes in the studio system lead Paramount to sell the ranch, it was later bought by William Hertz in 1953. As a western film buff, he had the old Paramount sets converted into a full western town. With such a complete location available just outside of Hollywood, filmmakers returned to the location to film more westerns. Now, the National Parks has acquired the old set. Filmmakers continue to use the set but the public can also wanter around this historic backdrop. While we were there, parts were already being converted for a new film.