Paramount: Past, Present, and Future

vertically stacked photos showing the history of Paramount Ranch, people enjoying the trails, the response to the Woolsey Fire in 2018, and future plans to rebuild the film set

The Birth of Paramount Ranch

In the late 1920s, Paramount Pictures purchased 2,700 acres in the Santa Monica Mountains to use as a movie-making ranch. Between 1927 and 1943, the studio made more than 130 films there. The ranch served as a filming location for movies set in the American West, the eastern United States, and many other regions around the world, including South America, Africa, Europe, and Asia.

Early Buildings

During the historic Paramount Era (1927-1943), the studio built numerous structures — barns, corrals, prop sheds, and sets. Many of these simple, utilitarian buildings supported film and television production activities at the ranch well into the 21st century.

Preservation Begins

The National Park Service purchased Paramount Ranch in 1980, two years after the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area was established by Congress. This is the only site in the National Park System that is dedicated to telling the story of American filmmaking — both past and present.

Public Enjoyment

In addition to watching film and television productions in action, the public can come to the ranch to hike, bike, and ride horses on local trails. They can also attend various special events like ranger programs, music festivals, classic movie nights, weddings, and night sky parties.

Wildfire at the Ranch

On Nov. 9, 2018, the Woolsey Fire burned through Paramount Ranch and destroyed many of the historic buildings from the Paramount Era (1927-1943). The famous Western Town, consisting of popular sets constructed in the 1980s and 1990s, was lost as well.

Rebuilding after Fire

The National Park Service and its partner, the Santa Monica Mountains Fund, are committed to rebuilding Paramount Ranch after the 2018 Woolsey Fire. The goal is to reestablish the ranch as a movie-making hub and create opportunities for people to gather for special events, participate in education programs, and volunteer with habitat restoration.

Construction: Phase 1 (2023-2024)

The National Park Service will build four structures in the footprints of the historic Paramount Era buildings. These new structures will serve as indoor/outdoor event spaces and as the backbone for future filming. The buildings will be fire-safe and adaptable.

  1. Pavilion - covered event space with capacity for 265 people
  2. Prop Shed - indoor event space with capacity for 100 people
  3. Barn - indoor event space with capacity for 200 people
  4. Restrooms - able to accommodate large events and day-use visitors
  5. Existing Train Depot

Construction: Phase 2 (2025+)

Once the four new buildings are complete, the National Park Service will work with film companies, partner organizations, and volunteers to again construct movie sets. Some sets will be temporary and only accessible while a movie is filming. Others will be educational and longer-lasting.

Come Back in 2025

Visit the ranch again in 2025 when construction is complete so you can enjoy the new event spaces and watch film productions in action! The National Park Service is proud to preserve the story of Paramount Ranch and looks forward to continuing the movie-making tradition!

a white church building in a field surrounded by mountains
Visit Paramount Ranch

Things to do when visiting the Ranch.

Burned housing structure with a fireplace in the center.
2018 Woolsey Fire

Learn about the Woolsey Fire, which burned almost 100,000 acres of land and changed the park.

Last updated: March 15, 2024

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26876 Mulholland Highway
Calabasas, CA 91302


805 370-2301

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