New owners plan to rebuild iconic Mescal Movie Set in Benson

August 25, 2021 GMT

BENSON, Ariz. (AP) — The Mescal Movie Set once made Benson one of the most recognizable western cinematic towns on the big screen.

The set was built in 1969 for a movie called “Monte Walsh.” Some 80 films followed and six television series also were shot on location.

The last movie filmed at Mescal was in December 2019 and the deteriorating set was saved from destruction by local ranchers.

Now, the new owners of the iconic set plan to rebuild it into an 1860-1920 era Western frontier town that is compatible with a production company’s filming needs.

Tucson TV station KVOA reported Tuesday that Kartchner Ventures plans to renovate 27 buildings and construct new buildings such as a church, blacksmith shop and stage depot.

The buildings also will include appropriate furniture, tools and props.

While the ultimate goal is to get the Mescal set back on the big screen, the new owners say the rebuilt frontier town can also be used for public tours, special events, historic reenactments and western heritage education opportunities.


This story was corrected to say the Mescal Movie Set was built in 1969 for the movie “Monte Walsh,” had over 80 movies and six television series shot on location with the last film shot at the set in December 2019.