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Western Movie Museum seeks donors

Celebrates Arizona movie making
Posted at 7:39 PM, Jul 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-02 22:39:37-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Our summer weather’s the perfect time to settle down with a movie---and you may not realize Arizona’s deep history as a place to make movies and TV shows.

There’s a drive underway to create a museum dedicated to Arizona’s movie history but it needs your help.

If you remember outfits with pointy boots, big hats and elaborate embroidery, you probably grew up watching plenty of cowboy movies and cowboys on TV. Organizers are working to create a Tucson museum dedicated to Arizona’s role in making those stories happen.

We just described an outfit from Arizona cowboy star Rex Allen. It’s just part of the history headed here for the Arizona Western Movieseum. It will also have a costume John Wayne wore in one of his later movies.

Old Tucson Studios is the best known outpost of Arizona’s movie history but a long list of movies and tv shows were shot throughout Arizona.

Movieseum organizer Matt Welch says, “We're going to have a tribute to Bob Shelton, who is the founder of Old Tucson, and he's got a ton of memorabilia and so on, that we're going to have in here photos of him with famous people and some of the things that he's accumulated through the years.”

The Museum will go into part of Trail Dust Town on Tanque Verde. It houses the Museum of the Horse Soldier now. Some parts of that will stay because so many western movies featured the U.S. Cavalry.

Because younger people did not live through the time when westerns ruled the movie screen and the TV screen the Movieseum plans to use virtual reality to let them put themselves in a movie scene.

Welch says, “Say they want to go down the streets of Tombstone with Val Kilmer and Wyatt Earp. They'll go here and they'll be able to shoot it on their phone and take it with them

The Movieseum was announced in December but its funding hit a snag. Now organizers have posted a video as part of their effort to raise money on Go Fund Me and Kickstarter.

Organizer Matt Welch says they’ve had lots of people offering to donate their time and skills to create the exhibit space. Now he says they need financial support to give Arizona’s movie history a home.


Arizona Western Film Movieseum
P.O. Box 31672
Tucson, AZ 85751

(520) 771-2880