The geologic history of the Grand Canyons region is remarkable as this area has been impacted significantly by earthquakes, volcanoes, and the erosion of lakes, rivers, wind and time. Photo by Jayme Church. All content ©2020 Southern Utah News, Kanab, Utah  • About Kanab City Kanab is the commercial center of a large farming, ranching and recreational community. Wadsworth has also released a book compilation of many of the historical features written about Washington County as well as a second volume containing stories about other places in Southern Utah, Northern Arizona and Southern Nevada. Western Legends Heritage and Music Festival Kanab hosts every August that features a variety of events with actors who once starred in Western films as well as a parade with longhorn cattle, a wagon train, historic movie bus tours and a barbecue contest, among others. Another was “The Greatest Story Ever Told,” chronicling the life of Jesus Christ and filmed largely in Glen Canyon before it was inundated by Lake Powell. The movie starred Tom Mix … Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? During the filming of The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again, much of the fort was destroyed by fire in a special effects sequence that grew out of control. “Days” is a series of stories about people, places, industry and history in and surrounding the region of southwestern Utah. The last major Western films shot in the area were “The Outlaw Josey Wales,” which starred Clint Eastwood, in 1976, and Walt Disney’s Western spoof, “The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again,” in 1978, starring comedians Don Knotts and Tim Conway. WATCH BELOW - Kanab's New Skatepark/Pump Track! Our movies are Kanab's best entertainment value. It had a short life, however, as it’s premier in Kanab on July 11 and 12, 1939, appear to be the only showings of the film, and all copies of it have been lost. Kanab Utah area vacation guide - Kane County and Kanab, UT visitor information from the Southern Utah News, Kanab, Utah Tourism History | Kanab, Utah information :: KanabGuide.com Home Nearly the entire town chipped in, serving as extras, wranglers, drivers and laborers. The museum offers visitors the chance to don Western props for pictures with an honest-to-goodness Western movie backdrop. Sandstone cliffs surround the Western adventure base camp town of Kanab, Utah. Grant, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at the time, called the movie a “friendmaker,” D’Arc wrote. Kanab, Utah, than in any other place aside from California. Not far past the Best Friends turnoff a barn still stands from One Little Indian. Muir, like D’Arc, was clear, however, that Kanab’s fame as a movie-making mecca did not come by chance, but by the hard work of the Parry brothers, who with their package deals gave any studio filming in Kanab a major bang for their buck. Production of the movie required the construction of a road to the dunes, which was fully supported by the state of Utah’s newly formed Department of Publicity and Industrial Development. And by the same token, Muir noted, seeing big Hollywood stars didn’t excite Kanab residents of the time, either. A sort of oasis in the surrounding desert environment, Kanab's wide, tree-lined streets and substantial architecture create a favorable atmosphere. Business wasn’t brisk at first, but Chauncey Parry made frequent trips to Hollywood with pictures of Kanab and the surrounding area in hand to meet with location scouts and studio executives to convince them to make their movies in Southern Utah. The first major studio to do a movie in Kanab was MGM, who filmed “The Bad Man of Brimstone” there in 1938 and followed that up a few years later with “Billy the Kid.”. The Lodge started as a small, three-bedroom house owned by Justin Johnson. In addition to the physical reminders of the Western moviemaking legacy is the annual Western Legends Heritage and Music Festival Kanab hosts every August that features a variety of events with actors who once starred in Western films as well as a parade with longhorn cattle, a wagon train, historic movie bus tours and a barbecue contest, among others. The Parrys would provide accommodations and food service at Parry Lodge as well as transportation for the actors, cameras, technicians and “all the impedimenta of a movie troupe,” Muir noted. Little Hollywood Museum is located in Kanab at 297 West Center Street. HISTORY OF THE PARRY LODGE, KANAB, UTAH Sunday, August 7, 2016. The set was rebuilt by local clubs and volunteers, only to be burned by vandals several years later. Parry Lodge Parry Lodge was a movie-making hotspot for years. Since the 1920s hundreds of movies have been filmed locally. Sandstone cliffs surround the Western adventure base camp town of Kanab, Utah. While remote, this landscape was just what many producers desired for location. I got to Kanab and realized they had some really fun thing to explore, including a rich movie industry history. They called it “Utah’s Hollywood,” which was added to the masthead of the “Kane County Standard” newspaper beginning with the Sept. 1, 1939, issue. Parry Lodge: Rooms with movie history - See 616 traveler reviews, 258 candid photos, and great deals for Parry Lodge at Tripadvisor. Although the railroad never came as far south and east as Kanab, the Deseret Telegraph line came to town in 1871 and connected the area to the rest of the world. Frontier Movie Town consists of a well stocked Native American and Made in the USA gift shop and delicious Chuckwagon Cookout western meals. Web Hosting by GoWest Web Design, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Western Legends Heritage and Music Festival. The town got its big break when Hollywood decided to film part of the 20s classic Deadwood Gulch in the vicinity. By 1938 the Parry brothers had started “to perfect their integrated system of negotiating with studios for locations (Chauncey), transportation and vintage wagons (Gronway), and food and lodging (Whit),” D’Arc explained. D’Arc wrote that the filming of Disney’s satirical Western proved a symbol of the demise of the Western and Kanab’s place as a significant filming location for the genre, as a movie fort built in 1953 was severely damaged during production and never repaired. HISTORY OF THE PARRY LODGE, KANAB, UTAH Friday, August 5, 2016. Parry Lodge is still going strong and boasts a large gallery of portraits of movie stars who once stayed there during its heyday. Loading ... Kanab Utah’s FREE Hollywood Museum - movie … Guests today can stay in the “Ronald Reagan” or “James Arness” rooms. It had a short life, however, as it’s premier in Kanab on July 11 and 12, 1939, appear to be the only showings of the film, and all copies of it have been lost. Made to look like adobe, the set pieces are actually made of fiberglass. This is just one of the reasons why movie history of Kanab Utah is so extensive. Composite image. 26 North 100 East Kanab… For their efforts in facilitating moviemaking, the Parry Brothers made approximately $30,000 in 1944, according to Muir’s story, which doesn’t sound like much, but would be about $433,000 in today’s dollars. By the last half of the 1970s, however, the Western genre was on its way out, which signaled the end of major moviemaking in Kanab. It wasn’t just the Parry brothers — Chauncey, Whit and Gronway — doing all the work, though. Numerous movies have been filmed in Kanab and Southern Utah. Click on photo to enlarge it, then use your left-right arrow keys to cycle through the gallery. 1990s-2000s. Another local who was good with stock served as an extra in numerous films over the years and made many of the arrangements with the studios was Fay Hamblin, a grandson of early pioneer leader Jacob Hamblin. The population was 4,312 at the 2010 censusand an estim… The Parrys even invested some of their own money in the first movie filmed completely in the Kanab area, “Feud on the Range,” in 1939, which was followed by three other low-budget movies, one of which, “The Mormon Conquest,” was based on the settlement of Kane County. Jacob Hamblin built a crude dugout on Kanab Creek in 1858, the name ‘Kanab’ being derived from an Indian word meaning ‘place of willows.’. Kanab Movie Fort and Movie Filmed There (1952-1979) The Kanab Movie Fort was built in 1952 by Paramount for the move Pony Express. Townspeople even hosted movie stars and crew members when the town’s few motels had no vacancy. 02-09-2018. Within an hour’s drive of Kanab, you have a diversity of landscape – from sand dunes – to western sagebrush and tumbleweed – to high country forests – to an enormous body of water. The film was primarily shot at Parry Lodge itself and a few other locations around Kanab. The Lone Ranger (1949 – 1957) Death Valley Days (1952 – 1975) Have … Before Hollywood arrived, Kanab, Utah was a sleepy little ranching community, located in the high deserts of southern Utah. A 1945 “Saturday Evening Post” article titled “The Town that Learned to Act” by Florabel Muir called Kanab “Hollywood’s main factory branch.”, “It’s facilities, elaborate and constantly expanding, are available to all studios,” Muir touted in her article. The Parry Lodge essentially became the headquarters for major studios filming in the area. “In its stead remains the old movie town in Johnson Canyon: a weathered, crumbling ghost, a fading witness to a time when Buffalo Bill Cody, Kit Carson, Wild Bill Hickok, the Lone Ranger, the Western Union company, George Custer, Matt Dillon, Paladin, Daniel Boone, Black Bart, Calamity Jane, Smoky, our ‘friend’ Flicka – and a camel or two – occupied the same expanse of real estate.”. Of late, the area has become popular for ad shoots. Another was “The Greatest Story Ever Told,” chronicling the life of Jesus Christ and filmed largely in, In addition to the physical reminders of the Western moviemaking legacy is the annual. When visiting the area now, you can almost hear the dialogue of those old westerns of years ago…. And although its cinematic heyday might have passed, you can still get a taste of movie history in Kanab. Kanab had always been a cattle town, but its landscape became favored in many cowboy movies. Kanab was the first settled community in Kane County and is still the most populated. In fact, so many western movies were filmed in the region, Kanab earned the nickname of “Little Hollywood.” “Eventually, the popularity of the westerns faded and the movie-making business went away,” says Bob Riding, a local historian and western movie aficionado. Route 66 day; the history and nostalgia of Arizona's stretch of the 'Mother Road', As he prepares to leave office, Herbert reflects on 11-year governor term, pandemic, Washington County Commission adopts 2021 budget, takes cemetery off school district's hands, Man who allegedly struggled with officers in remote area of Iron County faces multiple charges. The film was primarily shot at Parry Lodge itself and a few other locations around Kanab. Why was Hollywood attracted to Kanab for movie making? “Cowhide’s infectious personality also got him onscreen parts in a number of films, some of them with dialogue,” D’Arc remarked. “I write stories to help residents of southwestern Utah enjoy the region’s history as much as its scenery,” St. George News contributor Reuben Wadsworth said. Due to the popularity cowboy movies and Westerns enjoyed during the turn of the 20th century, and Hollywood directors’ desires to find new set locations, more than 100 motion pictures have … Check your spurs at the door. The rooms are named after some of the famous folks who slept there. There was even a movie shot at Parry Lodge, The Girl in the Black Stockings. “A flock of screen stars strolling down Kanab’s dusty main street excites no more curiosity than a stray sheep dog chasing its tail,” she wrote. One grand departure was “The Girl in Black Stockings,” a movie whose plot was much like Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho,” but predated it. Agendas & Minutes; Facebook; Kanab Area Events Calendar; Contact Us; Document Center; Recreation ; Parks & Facility Reservations; Swimming Pool; Kanab City Ordinances; Contact Us. Filmed at Kanab Movie Ranch in Utah by Ed_Jones_XLIX | created - 06 Apr 2019 | updated - 09 Apr 2019 | Public These classic Movies and TV Shows were filmed in and around the now defunct Kanab Movie Ranch, home of the TV Show Gunsmoke (1955) . This historic photo shows Dean Jagger, star of the movie "Brigham Young," walking with Mable Sanborn, Brigham Young's daughter, Kanab, Utah, 1940 | Photo courtesy of Utah State Historical Society, St. George News, This historic photo shows a still of the movie Billy the Kid, starring Robert Taylor in the title role, which was partly filmed at Kanab's Movie Ranch in Angel Canyon, where Best Friends Animal Sanctuary is now, Kanab, Utah, 1941 | Photo courtesy of Utah State Historical Society, St. George News, This historic photo shows preparations for a horse scene of Universal Studio's musical "Can't Help Singing" partly filmed near Kanab, Utah, 1943-1944 | Photo courtesy of Utah State Historical Society, St. George News, This historic photo shows a movie set for Universal Studio's musical "Can't Help Singing" partly filmed near Kanab, Utah, 1943-1944 | Photo courtesy of Utah State Historical Society, St. George News, Kanab's Main Street, Kanab, Utah, June 10, 2016 | Photo by Reuben Wadsworth, St. George News, The Parry Lodge, which played host to many Hollywood stars over the years thanks to the efforts of the Parry brothers, Kanab, Utah, June 10, 2016 | Photo by Reuben Wadsworth, St. George News, Kanab's Denny's Wigwam plays on the Western theme in its backlot behind its large gift shop, Kanab, Utah, June 10, 2016 | Photo by Reuben Wadsworth, St. George News, A Western-movie-themed display in Denny's Wigwam, Kanab, Utah, June 10, 2016 | Photo by Reuben Wadsworth, St. George News. Since then, over 100 motion pictures have been filmed in the Kanab area, ... What a fun stop this is and if you have any interest in Western Movies a must do. Enter your email below to start! The city of Kanab, county seat of Kane County, is often called "Little Hollywood" because of its film-making history over the years. The Paria townsite is worth a visit for its interesting history and beautiful red-rock scenery. He also dabbles as a historian, teaching U.S. history as an adjunct at Dixie State University. Several other big movies were filmed in the area soon after, including “Western Union,” based on Zane Grey’s final novel, “Can’t Stop Singing,” a Western musical, and “Arabian Nights,” in which the area served as a stand-in for the Middle East, with the Coral Pink Sand Dunes as one of the “stars” of the show. Even Heber J. Paria Movie Set near Kanab Utah – Old Pahreah Townsite – Map/Directions. The Little Hollywood Museum boasts set pieces actually used in “Outlaw Josey Wales” which were formerly located in Angel Canyon near Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. Check Availability Make Reservation. The population of Kanab grew because of the boost to the economy. For great reading concerning Utah and Kane County’s rich film-making history, check out the book, ‘When Hollywood Came to Town’ by film historian James D’Arc. ... as superintendent of the transportation company and subsequently designated as a special agent for the promotion of movies in Utah.3 Gronway also was retained as a superintendent and both continued their employment with Union Pacific for 17 years. Kanab, Utah calls itself “Little Hollywood” and there are 90-plus plaques along the main streets paying homage to the many movie and TV shoots here and in Kane County since the 1920s. Kanab, 1921 Kanab, Utah, is a city celebrated for its breathtaking scenery, temperate climate, and sturdy settlers. Glen Canyon day; is the dam a tombstone or a giver of new life? In addition to her commentary on Kanab’s populace of the time, Muir gushed over how its nearby scenery appeared on film. Thanks to the three Parry brothers who assisted with the transportation needs for the crew, Southern Utah made its initial mark in the Hollywood movie scene. Kanab. You may experience déjà vu when touring southern Utah. and ColdFusion On the back lot are memorabilia displayed from original sets from Desperate Hours, One Little Indian and Outlaw Josey Wales – real sets from the reel west! The movie set was used to film western movies and TV shows from 1963-1991. However, in the 1930s, Kanab was the town in the U.S. farthest away from a railroad for its size and had a population of less than 1,300 residents — not a place that seemed destined for movie setting stardom. “Whether teaching young Roddy McDowall how to rope for the ‘Flicka’ pictures or working with Fred MacMurray on ‘Smoky,’ Cowhide Adams was a favorite of Hollywood movie crews and executives alike.”. The homestead from the 1973 Disney film One Little Indian Hollywood first came to Utah back in the 1920s, and it’s thanks to the three Parry brothers. The fairly close location and easy access from Hollywood also make this one of the locations of choice for western movies, and has been for many decades. In the 1950s, Westerns were as popular as ever.   Confluence Park day: What is that old building between Hurricane and LaVerkin? That’s exactly what they’ll find in Kanab. Reuben also blogs about fatherhood, teaching, history, the outdoors and life in general at Wadsworth Longfellow: http://wadsworthlongfellow.com/. The history of the Crescent Moon Theater is as special as the theater itself. § previous Utah Stories’ article on Kanab documentary from 2009 Also in the late 1930s, a group of 14 prominent Kanab residents became investors in the newly incorporated Security National Pictures, which constructed a 40 by 60 foot covered stage with an adjacent Western street in 1939, D’Arc noted. Paria Movie Set This set was nestled at the bottom of a multi-colored sandstone canyon in what locals refer to as ‘the Paria.’ Take Highway 89 east of Kanab for 35 miles, and turn north into a dirt parking lot with a stone monument to the Pareah Townsite. What Movies Were Filmed in Kanab? The museum also includes a restaurant serving Chuckwagon meals, a photography studio and a gift shop. Into the 1950s and 1960s, Kanab remained a staple for Western moviemaking, including hits such as “Buffalo Bill” starring Joel McCrea; “Pony Express” starring Charlton Heston; and “Sergeants 3” starring “Rat Pack” members Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. Hollywood came to Kanab, Utah, in 1924 when cowboy star Tom Mix and his wonder horse Tony filmed "Deadwood Coach" in the area. Kanab’s fame as a place most Americans would see on the silver screen or on the TV in their living room can largely be attributed to a set of three brothers – the Parrys – who gave movie studios the whole package — a full-service arrangement that included location scouting, lodging, transportation, catering and livestock as well as carriages and covered wagons, James D’Arc wrote in his book, “When Hollywood Came to Town: A History of Moviemaking in Utah.”. ”People want experiential vacations with history,” says Browning. I traveled from St. George, Utah to Kanab, Utah. Dating back to the 1920’s, Hollywood headed west to Utah to film “Deadwood Coach” starring Tom Mix. “More than a half-century of moviemaking and movie promoting had come to an end,” D’Arc explained. Little Hollywood Museum Step back in time for an “up close and personal” free view of movie memorabilia! It’s in the town on placards. However, all movies filmed in the Kanab area were not Westerns. Reuben Wadsworth's day job is teaching English to eighth and ninth graders at Hurricane Middle School. It is located on Kanab Creek just north of the Arizona state line. According to Muir, once a film company arrived in Kanab, their worries were virtually over. At the time, most said the sweeping landscapes looked fantastic in Technicolor. FEATURE — In the 1940s, it became known as “Utah’s Hollywood” because of its rising stock as a filming location for films of the Western genre, which was the most popular sort of film. Since then over a hundred Hollywood productions have taken advantage of the diverse and spectacular landscapes that make Southern Utah one of the most stunning places on Earth. The first major studio to do a movie in Kanab was MGM, who filmed “The Bad Man of Brimstone” there in 1938 and followed that up a few years later with “Billy the Kid.” While this may be your first trip, you’ve probably already visited via TV or the silver screen! Kanab even had its own casting office, housed in an old gas station, where any type of actor, “from an Indian chief to a bathing beauty,” could be provided at a moment’s notice, she wrote. ... Kanab Little Hollywood history Ken Gotzen-Berg. Some of the sets in Johnson Canyon are still standing but are on private land and very dilapidated after years of neglect. See all of the features in the “Days” series. The Kanab movie fort was a filming set near the current Kanab Municipal Airport in Kanab, Utah. “Kanab can take ‘em or leave ‘em, and it does both with the utmost nonchalance.”. The town is a place where the Old West, the New West, and Once Upon a Time in the West all converge. Little Hollywood Movie Museum is located directly behind the gift shop and contains a large assortment of old wes Despite all the superlatives of its surrounding red rock spectacle, however, there were several cases in which movie crews painted Southern Utah’s red sandstone so the colors would show up better on camera. One movie filmed in the area with a lot of fanfare — a huge premier in Salt Lake City with the stars of the show speaking to sold out theaters — was “Brigham Young” in 1940 with Dean Jagger in the title role. “For most of the 1950s, Westerns accounted for between 18 to 34 percent of feature films, and, by the end of the decade, there were 48 Western series showing up each week on television,” D’Arc wrote. Kane County is rich in history ranging from pre-historic dinosaurs, native peoples in the region, early explorers and settlers, western movie history, and modern day pioneers. ,” was based on the settlement of Kane County. The two staple backdrops for filming in the area, where numerous set pieces went up and down over the years, were Angel Canyon, also known as Kanab Movie Ranch (north of town and now home to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary) and Johnson Canyon, located northeast of town. The hotel was the place where scores of famous movie actors and producers stayed while filming in Kanab. Some Kanabites even “donned a breechcloth and brown makeup” to play attacking Indians in some of the movies shot in the area, D’Arc wrote. According to Muir, Kanab’s actors had the advantage of not having to pay Screen Actors Guild dues, since the guild’s authority did not reach farther than 300 miles from Hollywood. “If you’re a movie fan, you’ve visited this grandiose fairyland by proxy many times.”. One grand departure was “The Girl in Black Stockings,” a movie whose plot was much like Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho,” but predated it. Businesses on Kanab’s main drag sell many different wares as remembrances of its former glory, and one in particular, Denny’s Wigwam, plays up the Western-film backlot motif with everything from a horse-drawn carriage ideal for a photo opp to wisecracks emanating from a mannequin in an outhouse. Background image shows the Parry Lodge in Kanab, Utah, June 10, 2016, with inset photo of a scene from Universal Studio's musical "Can't Help Singing" partly filmed near Kanab, Utah, 1943-1944 | Background photo by Reuben Wadsworth; inset photo courtesy of Utah State Historical Society, St. George News, Copyright © 2010 - 2020 StGeorgeUtah.com LLC, all rights reserved, Another local who was good with stock served as an extra in numerous films over the years and made many of the arrangements with the studios was Fay Hamblin, a grandson of early pioneer leader, The Parrys even invested some of their own money in the first movie filmed completely in the Kanab area, “Feud on the Range,” in 1939, which was followed by three other low-budget movies, one of which, “. The movie set was used to film western movies and TV shows from 1963-1991. Below is the year filmed and name of each motion picture, TV Movie and series filmed in Kanab and Kane County - Also known as "Utah's Little Hollywood." Click the image above to learn about the theater's unique history as a cornerstone of Kanab. Custom Website Design “Everybody else in the world, it seems, wants to take a gander at the film lots and the stars,” Muir wrote. Chauncey Parry purchased the home in 1928 then a parcel of land directly north of the home in 1938, on which he built additional rooms, D’Arc wrote. This site is home to an old town settlement (called Pahreah). He started expanding the home in March 1931, constructing what he called “summer cabins” just north and west of the central building and opened for its first tourist season in June 1931, at which time only two movies had been filmed in the Kanab area, “Deadwood Coach” and “The Big Trail.”. Movie making was a large part of the area’s history and economy from the 1930s-1990s, when over 300 movies and TV shows were filmed here. Check out this amazing list of movies and T.V. Read more: See all of the features in the “Days” series. Beginning in 1865 Mormon settlers built Kanab Fort as a defense against Indians and as a base for exploring southern Utah. For previews on Days Series stories, insights on local history and information on upcoming historical presentations, please “like” Wadsworth’s author Facebook page. The first film made in Kanab’s long, movie-making history was “Deadwood Coach,” filmed in 1924 by producer Tom Mix. “But that movie history is still here. Even though Kanab’s golden age of moviemaking is over (there have been parts of a few films shot in the area since the late 1970s), the legacy of that golden age lives on. Named for a Paiute word meaning "place of the willows," Fort Kanab was built on the east bank of Kanab Creek in 1864 for defense against the Indians and as a base for the exploration of the area. updated: November 13, 2019. Utah turns 105 years old Thursday, and the official celebration will be here. Check their website at www.littlehollywoodmuseum.org. Paria Movie Set This set was nestled at the bottom of a multi-colored sandstone canyon in what locals refer to as ‘the Paria.’ Take Highway 89 east of Kanab for 35 miles, and turn north into a dirt parking lot with a stone monument to the Pareah Townsite. Muir said that Kanab’s adult population were 100 percent movie actors, albeit actors who had never seen the actual Hollywood and never cared if they did. Of significance to the development of Kanab was the construction of Glen Canyon Dam, begun in late 1956. A colorful local rancher, Merle “Cowhide” Adams, began working closely with the Parrys in the 1930s, handling the wrangling of livestock and horses for films, starting with “The Dude Ranger” in 1934 and continuing into the early 1970s. His most important role, however, is as husband to his wife, Melissa, and three daughters, with whom he enjoys taking excursions to enjoy Southern Utah's astounding beauty. 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