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Made in New Mexico: Film locations

June 18, 2014

Film tourism is hot, and not just for the big screen. When a popular TV shows is shot in a specific city or town, fans plan trips around the location. Breaking Bad put Albuquerque on the film tour circuit. These days, fans come to see where Walter White and company made their meth and lived their lives. While Santa Fe and the surrounding area doesn’t have a long-running TV show bringing people here to tour locations, there are many film locations in Santa Fe and the surrounding area. The current TV show, Longmire, which is developing a following, films mostly in Las Vegas, NM and on a Santa Fe sound stage. The new WGN show, Manhattan about the WWII Manhattan Project debuts on July 27, 2014. We hope it’s the next Breaking Bad!

If you are a movie and TV buff and want to visit film locations along the Turquoise Trail, here a few to check out.

Bonanza Creek Ranch

A slew of movies and TV shows have been shot on this working ranch south of Santa Fe. There’s even a permanent old west town set up there. The current Seth MacFarlane film, A Million Ways to Die in the West, was largely shot here. The powerhouse cast for this light-hearted film also includes Charlize Theron, Amanda Seyfried, and Liam Neeson.

The Johnny Depp box-office bomb, The Lone Ranger, was shot at the ranch and other locations throughout NM and the southwest for over a year. We’d often see mobile dressing rooms and other movie-related trucks heading out of town to nearby locations. There was star spotting all over town during the filming. Manhattan, is also being shot here in a specially built village.

Between shooting projects, the ranch offers tours. You can visit the western town and other locations there such as the Astronaut Farmer house. We’ve taken the tour and sent clients on it. It’s fun for film buffs and fans. You just want to get the right guide; we can help with that.

Meet Madrid

Have you seen Wild Hogs? This film, whose stars include John Travolta, Marisa Tome, and Tim Allen, about a group of middle-aged, middle-class bikers was shot here during the summer of 2006. If you’ve seen the movie, you’ll recognize Madrid, a former ghost town that was reclaimed and turned into an art destination. The only remnant of the sets that were constructed to transform the town is the façade that was Maggie’s Diner. Behind the façade is a shop offering biker gear and memorabilia. Today, thousands of bikers pass through the town on Route 66 tours or just to see the set of this light biker film.

There are film locations all over the Santa Fe area- a scene here, a scene there and you can visit a lot of them. The New Mexico Film Office launched the New Mexico Film Trail last year http://santafe.org/Visiting_Santa_Fe/About_Santa_Fe/Films_in_New_Mexico/.

Note: condensed from Santa Fe Travelers Santa Fe and Beyond article

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