Fillmore Filming Locations | The Fillmore Gazette
Set of sanitary dairy products for Chaplin.
Yellow signs direct the teams to the filming locations.
Fillmore Police Chief Earl Hume with Tom Mix.
Courtesy of the Fillmore Historical Museum
Since the early days of cinema, Hollywood has loved Fillmore and the Santa Clara Valley. The historic Rancho Camulos was the backdrop for one of Ramona’s first feature films. Directed by DW Griffins in 1910, starring Mary Pickford as Ramona and Henry B Walthall as Alessandro, the film is based on the book written by Helen Hunt Jackson. He uses the story of two young lovers to illustrate the mistreatment of Native Americans in California. Camulos became known as the “House of Ramona”. Due to the popularity of the film, it has become a regular tourist stop for travelers.
Due to our rural charm and proximity to Hollywood, our small town is regularly transformed with props and sets. A 1924 photo shows Cowboy movie star Tom Mixx astride a motorcycle on Central with Fillmore Police Chief Earl June. Central Avenue was filled with sand and cacti to transform Fillmore into 1940s Arizona for the 1987 movie In the Mood, starring Patrick Dempsey. In the 1984 IMAX documentary, Speed by director Greg McGillivraya, a hot rod roams the city, passes the police, crashes into a haystack at the sanitary dairy, and Fillmore is Fresno. For the 1990 film Almost an Angel starring Paul Hogan, many parts of Fillmore were used, including a house on Foothill Drive, the Roan Mills Bakery building, and the Town Theater. An entire church has been built on Dr Beer’s office in Kensington.
Dustin Hoffman was the main character in the 1992 film Hero. For the plane crash scene at the start of the film, a destroyed 727 plane was trucked from Mojave to the site over the Center Street Bridge in Piru. Gas lines and explosives filled the riverbed with smoke and fire for this dramatic scene. Two large sets were built for the 1982 film Chapman. A replica of the studios used by Mack Sennett was built on a bare field in Bardsdale and the Sanitary Dairy got a makeover for another part of the film. Look at La Bamba and you’ll see plenty of Fillmore sites including the row of palm trees on Highway 23 and the Green Bridge crossing the Santa Clara River.
What do Seabiscuit, Lone Ranger and Fear Factor have in common? They all used the Fillmore and Western Railway for the shoot. In 1991, Short Line Enterprises moved its filming from Newhall Ranch to Fillmore and in 1996 it became a division of FWRY. Using tracks leased from the Ventura County Transportation Commission, over 400 films, TV series, music videos, student films and commercials were shot using the railroad. Disney built the tunnel at the east end of town for filming in 2008.
The Fillmore Historical Museum repository has been featured in numerous films. It was an Eastern European town for the JAG in 1998 and 2003. Using model trains and actual trains, Fillmore’s depot and other locations were used for an advertisement for Coke. City Slickers 2 station includes the Depot. Buffy the vampire even visited the Depot. A search of the Internet for “Film Production List, Fillmore, California” will bring up pages of movies, television shows and commercials that have been shot in Fillmore. White trailers and yellow parking signs are a regular sight in town. They let us know that the film crew has returned to town.