Robert, Bob Shelton, Arizona Film Pioneer, founder of “Old Tucson Studios” Old Tucson built in 1937-38 had lain dormant since the end of filming in 1939 when the Westly Ruggles Western “Arizona” sometimes also know as “In Old Arizona.” starring William Holden and Jean Arthur finish principle photography.

In 1959 entrepreneur Bob Shelton leased the property from Pima County and began his life long love affair with what he initially thought was going to be a theme park and a part-time film studio. A theme park for kids to come and see real western cowboys and maybe some filming. Then, however, fate intervened. Hearing a film crew had just landed in town Shelton met them at a hotel, where walking around corner he spied a large man with a big cowboy hat. That was Joh Wayne aka, “The Duke.”

Wayne and Director Howard Hawks were there to negotiate for shooting the movie “Rio Bravo” and the rest is fantastic Arizona Cinema History.

Gouldings Lodge, Monument Valley, established in 1928 initially as a trading post for the Navajo tribe. By the middle of the 1930’s Gouldings began to be utilized by Hollywood film companies especially American’s most famous director of that era, John Ford. Ford made five iconic movies in Monument Valley.

Ronnie Baird, 50 years Arizona Pioneer who worked with and for Harry and Mike Goulding. Now for twenty plus years he has managed Gouldings.

“Gouldings” Lodge in Monument Valley, is today a modern beautifully kept piece of American Western History watched over the Ronnie and his professional staff. For the last twenty years Ronnie Baird has kept Harry and Mike Gouldings dream of a place be awed by the stillness and ancient iconic rock sculptures just as it was for thousands of years.

Stan Garner, a man who as a boy loved trains and railroads took his passion as an adult bringing and participating in several vintage Western Rail Road movies it to the silver screen.

In Stan’s fifty plus years of years of professional cinema work with rail roads, camera rigs, staging accidents etc., he has worked on sets as location scout, train wrangler, assistant producer, and assistant camera operator. Stan is especially conversant with small to medium “Steam Locomotives.” He is an expert technical assistant for directors working with movie trains. Stan is familiar with all major type of steam locomotives including, Baldwin, Porter, Webb, 2-coupled, 4-coupled, 0,2,4 and more.

A graduate of the University of Arizona with a double major, in archaeology and U.S. history. Martin took a summer job with the St. Michael’s Indian School. He engaged in field work for the Navajo tribe in a dispute with the Hopi on land.

Martin then became the Navjo Museum director for 16 plus years. Because of his background and expertise in archaeology and history he along with tribal leaders created the “Navajo Monument Valley Tribal Park.”

At this time (early 1950’s) monument was the only Indian tribal park in the country.

Martin also was involved routinely with Hollywood film companies, as an assistant producer, location scout, and technical advisor for westerns including John Wayne and the noted american director John Ford.

Produced by DynaSoar Media, 2017 – Duncan Harvey, Levi Davis, Editors

Arizona Film History Project

The Untold Story Of Arizona’s Historic Role In The Rise Of Hollywood & Cinema

Old Tucson - Bob Shelton