A Film Festival That’s “On Location”

The Lone Pine Film Festival unfurls where many movies were shot.

Getty Images

MOUNTAIN AND THE MOVIES: A lot of people might assume that when a Hollywood Western went on location in the early days of the business, that meant Simi Valley or Chatsworth. And that is correct; a lot of movies were made in that area, but it wasn't the only hill-backed getaway that served as a de facto Hollywood backlot. There was also Lone Pine, which isn't nearly as close to Tinseltown as Chatsworth and Simi Valley, but it does have something rather notable: Mount Whitney. Well, Mount Whitney is in the distance, anyway, as are the beautiful jagged Sierra Nevada mountains and the low, rock-strewn Alabama Hills. It was a setting that was at once both ideal and unusual for Westerns, and for lots of other movies, too; "Iron Man" shot in the area only a few years back. So the fact that there is an excellent film museum in town doesn't surprise. Nor does the fact that Lone Pine throws a three-day-long film festival each year, as it will again from Oct. 5-7, 2012.

ON THE DOCKET: Paramount Studios will receive a special spotlight during the fest; the festival site says that the studio made over forty films in the Owens Valley area, so bet those will be a centerpiece of some sort. Visits to film locations are in the mix. And special appearances and Western-cool live music is also part of the deal. And if you haven't visited the Lone Pine Film History Museum, and you are a Western fan, seriously, this alone is worth the road trip. It's a really interesting place, and has some non-Western artifacts, too; yep, we love the giant sand worm model from "Tremors," which was shot in the area. In fact, we love all of Lone Pine, one of the coolest towns in California. 

Copyright FREEL - NBC Local Media
Contact Us