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Old Tucson...A Waste Of $15

Reviewing: Old Tucson Movie Studio Tucson, Az  |  Rating:
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There isn't much to say about Old Tucson Movie Studios because there isn't much at Old Tucson Movie Studios. I went with my family thinking it would be a fun activity since my husband loves westerns and my daughter wants to be an actress, but it wasn't fun so much as funny in a depressing sort of way. The park is experiencing some rough times since the golden age of the western has long since passed and a fire a couple of years back detroyed a large chunk of the park. The oldest portion of the park is still in tact which is fun for a couple pictures but not much else. The entire park can be walked in about a half an hour. There are a shows, mainly recreations of gun fights from movies filmed there, every couple hours but when you are sitting in the middle of a hot desert they aren't that enjoyable. Most of the workers seem depressed. Only one restaurant was open when I went serving the standard burger and hot dog fare. The stores (there are about 5 of them) all sell the same things, Old Tucson t-shirts, mugs, key chains, cowboy hats...None of the exhibits were open when I went, like the gold panning or mine adventure, maybe it was because we weren't there in high season but after talking to one of the workers it doesn't seem like its ever high season at Old Tucson. (There were maybe about 50 other people in the park that day and less than 20 cars in the parking lot and you figure some of them have to be the worker's.) My family paid the extra $9 for the three of us to go on a stage coach ride around the park. Our driver was Gail, a man who had been a fixture of the park since its heyday as the Hollywood of the South West. The ride didn't take you anywhere you couldn't have otherwise walked, but Gail really brought the room down with his talk about how westerns died in the 80s along with the park and how the fire destroyed alot of the history. I couldn't help feeling sorry for him, but that's the thing about those at Old Tucson. You feel sorry for them and can tell they feel sorry for themselves. Admission to the park is $15 for adults, but when you pay it you don't feel like you are buying a ticket so much as making a donations. No one seems to want to put any money into the park (repair some of what was lost, add a couple of rides) so instead they are waiting on a miracle. They have hope the western will once again rise and with it Old Tucson.