Texas Parks & Wildlife Magazine   


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On Location

Old movie sets are scattered across The Lone Star State.

By Kayla Meyertons

Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)


Always wanted to eat in the same room as a family of cannibals? Then the Grand Central Cafe in Kingsland (near Lake LBJ) is just the place for you. Reinvented as a fine-dining establishment, the instantly recognizable farmhouse was built in 1909 and includes the infamous dining room from the original 1974 Texas Chainsaw Massacre, a horror film inspired by serial killer Ed Gein.

movie sets

The Last Picture Show (1971)

Archer City

Archer City’s iconic Royal Theater burned in 1965 but was rebuilt as an exterior set for the Academy Award-winning 1971 film The Last Picture Show, starring Cybill Shepherd and Jeff Bridges, and the sequel, Texasville. Interiors were shot in a theater in nearby Olney. The theater was fully rebuilt in 2000 and serves as an arts center in this North Texas town.

movie sets

Hope Floats (1998)


Built in 1908, the McCollum-Chapman-Trousdale House is familiar to fans as the main house in the Sandra Bullock 1998 romantic drama. Visitors can tour the neoclassical-style residence in Smithville, where they’ll also find the façade for Honey’s Diner, a restaurant front created specifically for Hope Floats.

movie sets

True Grit (2010)


Granger’s 100-foot-wide Davilla Street was paved with red bricks in 1912, only to be covered with a layer of dirt for the 19th-century movie set used for the remake of True Grit. When production ended, all the dirt and, well, grit was sucked back up, and movie stars Hailee Steinfeld, Matt Damon and Jeff Bridges headed home, leaving the quiet Central Texas brick road to return to normal.

movie sets

The Alamo (1960)


Director John Wayne used this 400-acre plot of land in Brackettville, west of San Antonio, to create a replica Alamo village for the Oscar-nominated 1960 Western, The Alamo. James Tullis “Happy” Shahan constructed this first movie set built in Texas; dozens of movies and TV shows have been filmed there since its creation. The Alamo set includes a full-scale replica of the mission, plus a cantina, trading post, jail and blacksmith shop. It was closed to the public in 2010.

movie set




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