Hollywood Western Film Tour

SCV residents and film historians E.J. and Kim Stephens will guide you to several sites in Hollywood, to tell the fascinating story of the early Western films made in Tinseltown. The tour departs from the main Cowboy Festival parking area and heads south to Hollywood where we will pass the site of the former Blondeau Tavern, which in 1911 became the very first studio in Hollywood. In this same area is Hollywood’s famed “Poverty Row,” where hundreds of fly-by-night operations appeared overnight and often disappeared just as quickly. It is also the home of “Gower Gulch,” a hangout for cinematic cowboy-wannabes for decades. After passing the birthplaces of Paramount, Columbia, Warner Bros., and Universal, we head west past the site of D.W. Griffith’s old studio, across from where the mammoth sets for Intolerance were once constructed. Nearby is the site of William S. Hart’s former studio, as well as the old Monogram complex – home to hundreds of Westerns over the years. Next, it’s on to the former district of Edendale, where dozens of studios once stood, including Mack Sennett’s legendary Keystone Studios, home to Charlie Chaplin, as well as the Keystone Cops. This was also the site of legendary Bison Studios, where the Hollywood movie Western was born. The tour concludes back at the parking area in Newhall.


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