For any movie aficionado, a trip to your favorite movie theater or sitting in front of your own TV, complete with the requisite snacks of popcorn, candy and pop; and immersing yourself in the magic of the silver screen is one of America’s favorite pastimes. This love of watching almost any genre come to life began with the first primitive movies, and has not showed any signs of abating. It is almost magical to go from a western town, New England fishing village, a haunted house, a farm or ranch, A Civil War battlefield or a Roman Colosseum. The greatest magic in the movies are the limitless background scenes and locations that bring the film to reality! From the earliest films, Voyage dans la Lune, Le, A Trip to the Moon, produced in 1902 France, by pioneer French director Georges Melies, considered the first Sci-Fi movie, to today’s computer-generated characters and backgrounds, the locations and sets so to speak, make the movie.
From the very beginning, early movie studios built on site, the sets and buildings needed to bring realism to the film, i.e. a wild west town, turn of the century village or cityscape. In the beginning of the industry, it was easy to find locations to film; even in the small towns or cities. But as the population increased and urban sprawl encroached on everything, just finding pristine locations to film was becoming a challenge. One of the biggest challenges was locating vast outdoor vistas in order to shoot battle scenes, create a Medieval castle or film car chases or shoot miles of railroad tracks complete with an old western steam train.