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|Gunfight performance triggers elated response from viewers|
|Written by Kevin Nadakal|
|Friday, 30 March 2012 05:26|
Tombstone is only 81 miles from Old Tucson Studios but could not be more different.
Tombstone, the town ‘too tough to die,’ is filled with history and is still a functioning town where visitors flock the streets everyday. Unlike Old Tucson, Tombstone has a city ordinance that does not allow gun shows in the middle of the street. All gunfights and shows are done in an enclosed area as to not disturb the public.
“It actually hurts our business more if they do (allow) gun fights on the street,” said Lee McKechnie, owner of Helldorado Town.
“We wouldn’t mind little vignettes, I’m talking about maximum a minute,” he said. “Just to get some attention on the street.”
McKechnie said it wouldn’t be reasonable to watch a free show on the street and then ask them to pay to watch a show. According to McKechnie every other Sunday the Vigilantes put on a show for free and that is their slowest day by far.
Dave Klenmeyer took in the show at the O.K. Corral, which is based on the namesake’s gunfight.
“I liked it, I love American history,” Klenmeyer said. “I’ve seen a lot of programs about the gunfight at the O.K. Corral, so I’ve always wanted to come and visit. I thought it was really accurate.”
Lloyd Boothroyd came to Tombstone during his kids’ spring break because he wanted to show them some history.
“It was pretty entertaining,” Boothroyd said.
Boothroyd, who lives in Sierra Vista, said that Tombstone holds its own compared to other ‘cowboy towns that he has visited especially since “You still have a modern town going on over here.”
Old Tucson Studios, the self-proclaimed “Hollywood in the Desert,’ is a set that has been home for more than 300 movies since 1939.
Richard Nelson was visiting Old Tucson Studios for the third time, but this time was a little different.
“The first two times I visited were with my wife,” Nelson said. “Today I am just kind of revisiting some of the places we were at because my wife passed away nine years ago.”
Nelson took in, “The Secret of Santa Maria,” which he thought was very good. Like Helldorado, The Secret of Santa Maria had a very comedic theme with a lot of crowd interaction, which kept the audience entertained.
Whether you are looking for genuine history or just somewhere you can see and ride some horses, both Tombstone and Old Tucson Studios offer a variety of activities you can do.
“I worked at Old Tucson Studios as an entertainment director from 1989 to 1991, once you pay admission all the shows are free,” McKechnie said. “You don’t have to pay to walk to through the streets of Tombstone, but I recommend you do both.”
Located on the west side of Tucson at 201 S. Kinney Road, Old Tucson is open seven days a week unless it closes down for filming.
Admission: $16.95 for adults, $10.95 for children ages 4 to 11 and free for children 3 and under.