Yesterday I posted a doc on the creation of Century City, which rose atop the rubble of the former 20th Century Fox ‘ranch’ portion of the lot, which was sold in the early 60s to developers to cover the cost overruns on the Fox epic ‘Cleopatra’. A few years later, Fox was apparently still attempting to monetize their remaining land by getting into the studio tour business a la Universal. Thanks to an 8mm camera-toting visitor we have this nice little three minute sample of what that tour looked like. Far from Universal’s tram-riding, volcano-exploding, adventure-in-space theme park, this Fox backlot tour is depressingly mundane–more like a walk through a ghost town than a ride through a theme park. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. There’s something poignant about this little tour group wandering the remains of the once-mighty lot and seeing the ‘Peyton Place’ set (complete with fake snow) and taking in a demonstration of a stunt sequence on the ‘Western Street’. Did the tour include lunch in the commissary? One would hope so. The tour thing apparently never took off for Fox the way it did with Universal but the backlot still remains, complete with the massive turn-of-the-century New York street that was constructed for ‘Hello Dolly’ a year or so after this footage was shot. At least I think the ‘Dolly’ street’s still there. I haven’t checked in awhile…


Sign up for news & updates so you don't miss a thing!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *