The Bonanza Creek Movie Ranch is on the southeast side of the La Cienega Exit of I25, between Albuquerque and Santa Fe. To tour it, you need to make a reservation by calling the ranch. It is rather expensive, but worth it for photographers and movie buffs. Our tour guide was an older man who had been an extra in movies for decades, and he had many interesting stories to tell as he took us around. He also gave us a paper with a long list of the movies that had been filmed there. Most of them were Westerns, but not all. We could not go onto one part of the set because the television movie “Los Alamos” was currently being filmed there.
We liked the photos we got here, but if we were to do it again, we would take models in Western wear. If you are looking for a portrait shoot that taps into Western stereotypes, this would be a perfect setting.
The movie ranch does not remove the weeds in the street. That is up to individual movie makers who rent the facility.
Here are two photos of the interior of this saloon:
Some of the buildings have false fronts, as real Western towns did. We thought the use for one of these was pretty funny:
Never before have we found a photo quite like the one below:
There were several more buildings like this including barns (where a hoot owl flew right by our heads), a church, stores, a bank, the similar things you would expect from a Western street set.
Several of the exterior shots were also beautiful: