29 April 2014

Eye-Opening Photographs Show The Post-Filming Lives Of Former Movie Sets

‘Hobbiton’, a Hobbit village in Matamata, New Zealand, offering guided tours of “Middle Earth”. Image by Anup Shah

Online travel guide Atlas Obscura has an eye-opening series that shows what 16 former film sets look like after shooting has wrapped.

The photographs reveal their post-filming lives after the camera crews have long departed, and their fortunes vary from film to film.

The Alexander family ranch in Matamata, New Zealand, where Lord of the Rings was filmed, has been turned into a Hobbit village called ‘Hobbiton’ offering guided tours of “the real Middle Earth.”

However, the Mos Espa set in Tunisia where scenes from the first two movies in the original Star Wars trilogy were shot hasn’t been as lucky–it was left intact after filming ended, and now lies abandoned and in danger of being swallowed by shifting sand dunes.

Check out some of the filming locations below and view the entire collection here.

Spectre, the town in Big Fish, located north of Montgomery, Alabama. The house, stores and chapel were left in place after filming ended; recent reports indicate that most of the buildings have collapsed, with the exception of the chapel and one or two houses. Image by sunsurfr

Popeye Village in Malta, where Popeye was set. It is now a theme park containing all 20 of the buildings constructed for the movie and a museum, and features stage shows and scenic boat tours of the village and its bay. Image by Edwinb/Wikimedia

A building façade at the corner of Rivington and Clinton Streets on Manhattan’s Lower East Side featuring a psychedelic mural of dragon tails created for Across the Universe. The buildings along the block were repainted after filming ended except for one store that requested to keep its new look–a restaurant called Alias which has since closed and is now occupied by a bar named Black Crescent. Image by Kimberly Wadsworth for Atlas Obscura

The desert of Tabernas, Almeria, Spain, which stood in for the American Southwest in Sergio Leone’s Dollars trilogy. Image by Emilio del Prado

‘Mini Hollywood’, one of the three permanent ‘Western town’ sets that sprang up to cater to the ‘Spaghetti Western’ craze after the success of the films. Featuring storefronts, recreations of Mexican pueblos and frontier forts, they are open for tours til this day. Image by Fabio Alessandro Locati

The Matmata caves in Tunisia which stood in for Luke Skywalker’s Tatooine home in the Star Wars films have been turned into the Sidi Driss hotel. Image by Scott Roberts

The Mos Espa set was specially built for the films and left intact after shooting finished. It is now abandoned and in danger of being swallowed by shifting sand dunes. Image by John Roberts

[via Atlas Obscured, images via various users]