Alamo Village

Alamo Village

Alamo Village is an active movie set and tourist attraction north of Brackettville, Texas, United States. Alamo Village, the first movie location built in Texas, was constructed as the setting for "The Alamo" (1960), directed by John Wayne and starring Wayne, Richard Widmark, Laurence Harvey and Frankie Avalon.

History

The set was built by James T. "Happy" Shahan of Brackettville, who in 1995 was named the "Father of the Texas movie industry" by Governor George W. Bush. Shahan began building the set on his ranch in September, 1957 for Wayne, who had tried for years to make a movie about the Battle of the Alamo for Republic Pictures, before finally breaking away to form Batjac Productions. Filming began in August, 1959.

Originally the set was to be facades of the front and sides of the buildings. However, Wayne ran out of money and called a halt to construction. Shahan agreed to continue working while Wayne raised more money, if Wayne would agree to building full sets with four walls, floor and roofs. Wayne signed on to the deal.

The set includes a full-scale re-creation of the Alamo compound as it would have appeared in 1836 (the real Alamo is in the middle of downtown San Antonio, Texas and is surrounded by modern buildings). The set also includes a representation of the village of San Antonio de Béxar of the same time period. The building of the set required over 1.5 million adobe bricks, 14 miles of gravel road and a 4,000-foot runway.

Shahan preserved the set after the end of the 1960 production and, over the years, over a dozen films about the Alamo have been shot there. In addition, over 100 other western movies as well as documentaries, music videos and commercials have been shot using various parts of the set. (The 2004 Disney movie about the Alamo was not shot on this set, but in a new set built in Dripping Springs, Texas.) Frank Thompson, a film historian, noted that each production changed the set in some way, big or small, and that the changes appear in each new movie about the Alamo, documenting the current view of authenticity over time.

Since the filming of the 1960 version of "The Alamo", the village has served primarily as a tourist attraction and has been important to the economy of Brackettville. In addition to the replica of The Alamo, the village includes a cantina and restaurant, a trading post, an Indian store, a church, a jail, a blacksmith shop, several museums, and a celebrity gallery. Alamo Village also maintains a large collection of antique tools, vehicles and other period props, as well as a herd of longhorn cattle. During the summer, live music and stage shows perform frequently, and over Labor Day weekend the Labor Day Horse Races bring large crowds to the village. Alamo Village is open to visitors year round except for December 21-26.

In 2004, the set was put up for sale by its owner, Virginia Shahan, Happy Shahan's widow for $3,000,000.

elected Filmography

*"The Alamo" (1960) - Produced, directed and starring John Wayne
*"Two Rode Together" (1961) - starring James Stewart
*"Bandolero!" (1968) - starring James Stewart, Raquel Welch and Dean Martin
*"Barbarosa" (1982) - starring Willie Nelson
*"Good As Gold" (1983 music video) by Red Rockers
*"Uphill All the Way" (1986)
*"" (1988) - Imax
*"Lonesome Dove" (1988) (TV) - starring Robert Duvall
*"Bad Girls" (1994)
*"Once Upon a Time in China and America" (1997) - a Chinese martial arts western
*"Bullfighter" (2000)
*"Jericho" (2000)

External links

* www.alamovillage.com
* [http://www.thealamofilm.com/alamo-village-bracketville.shtml Alamo Village at Brackettville, Texas]
* [http://alamovillagereunionsite.homestead.com/firstpage.html]


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