For 11 months out of the year, Old Tucson Studios pays homage to the Old West.
More than 300 movie and TV projects have been filmed on the lot, which sits on the southern edge of Tucson, Arizona, near Saguaro National Forest.
Classics such as “Rio Bravo,” “The Outlaw Josey Wales,” “Little House on the Prairie” and “Tombstone” have been filmed, in part, at Old Tucson Studios, and for 11 months out of the year, you can tour the filming locations, catch live stunt shows and take a train ride through the desert.
But every October, this Old West shrine undergoes a makeover that’s simply terrifying.
Nightfall at Old Tucson Studios is one of the southwest’s biggest and best Halloween-themed entertainment venues, and if you’re traveling anywhere near Tucson in October, it’s worth a stop.
A warning, however, if you do go: much of the Nightfall experience is unsuitable for children, particularly the annual live comedy show, which is generally laced with adult humor and a bit of all-too-realistic gore.
In addition to the comedy show, Nightfall’s live entertainment includes a revolving headline show inside the Grand Palace Saloon – in 2009, the feature act was a haunted musical, and in 2010, it was Las Vegas magician Aaron Radatz. The headline attraction is a nightly show at Old Tucson Studios’ main filming set, which includes pyrotechnics and is, basically, a gunfight-inspired stunt show with a Halloween-themed storyline.
While the live shows are generally worth the price of admission, they’re not the only thing going on at Nightfall.
You’ll have access to at least three walk-through haunts, including Death Row, a creepy, adrenaline-inducing, dead-man-walking tour through a prison that features impressive and graphic props and live actors in gory costumes.
The Hollywood Horror Train is a fun ride. During the other 11 months of the year, the train winds through the desert surrounding Old Tucson Studios by daytime and takes you past filming locations far from the main set.
This same tour has a whole new, eerie feel to it at night, particularly with Nightfall’s haunted touches. Past Nightfall train tours have included a trip through the history of haunted films, complete with movie props.
Nightfall also features several food booths – with beer available in the saloon and at the outdoor café – and a gift shop that sells Old Tucson Studios and Nightfall memorabilia.
Old Tucson Studios
201 S. Kinney Road
Tucson, AZ 85735
Nightfall at Old Tucson Studios
Film History, Old Tucson Studios