Since Lone Pine has a rich film history, we thought it would be entertaining to visit the Beverly & Jim Rogers Museum of Lone Pine Film History. The little building houses a small theater, a gift shop, and is loaded with exhibits and movie props. The orientation film made us realize we had seen the Alabama Hills more times than we ever realized.
It didn’t take long after the invention of moving pictures for Hollywood to discover the spectacular location with the weirdly eroded jumble of rocks of the Alabama Hills and the snowcapped Sierra Nevada backdrop. Plus, it was within a few hours’ drive. The first feature film shot entirely here was “The Round-up”, a 1920 silent Western.
After that the location became the setting for over 300 movies from the 1920’s to 1950’s. Although, they were mostly Westerns, a few times the hills served as northern India, the Gobi Desert, various parts of Arabia and even Africa for two Tarzan films.
There is a self-guided auto tour where with some directions, a good eye, and a very vivid imagination, you could convince yourself you were seeing the camera location and angle for some of the famous movie shots. Some of the famous sites we might see were the settings for scenes from ”Gunga Din, Rawhide, Hell Bent for Leather, and How the West was Won”. We drove around for a while but found we enjoyed the formations more if we weren’t so focused on trying to visualize scenes from movies it’s been years since either one of us had seen.
We went for supper at The Pizza Factory, mediocre food, but enough for tomorrow's lunch too. We stopped at the local market for a couple of things and returned home pondering how the locals afford to eat...we spent $24 and I think we got 2 bottles of diet coke, a loaf of bread, a pack of bagels, and a carrot cake for dessert.....yikes!! it's cheaper to eat out.