Pioneertown (Part 3 of 4)

Photo by Rey Spadoni

Established in the 1940s as a “living movie set”, Pioneertown continues on as a residence, tourist attraction, and actual ghost town. Based on initial investments by Roy Rogers, Dale Evans, Bud Abbott, and others, Pioneertown was developed as a place nearby to Los Angeles where movies could be filmed, desert lovers could reside, and tourists could experience a taste of the old west.

Photo by Rey Spadoni
Photo by Rey Spadoni

A number of films, television shows, commercials, and music videos have been filmed at Pioeneertown, including the first in 1948 called “The Valiant Hombre”. According to the Pioneertown website, the last movie made on site was 2017’s “Ingrid Goes West”, starring Aubrey Plaza and Elizabeth Olsen.

Photo by Rey Spadoni

Today, Pioneertown is a strange mix of old and decaying… and bustling and fresh. There are museums, restaurants, a post office, and it certainly looks as though people are living there still. Yet, buildings are aging, some are clearly vacant, there’s evidence of disrepair, and you can’t help but feel as though its best days are in the rearview.

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