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A movie ranch is a ranch that is at least partially dedicated for use as a set in the creation and production of motion pictures and television shows. These were developed in the United States in southern California, because of the climate. The first such facilities were all within the 30-mile (48 km) studio zone, often in the foothills of the San Fernando Valley, Santa Clarita Valley, and Simi Valley in the U.S. state of California.
Movie ranches were developed in the 1920s for location shooting in Southern California to support the making of popular western films. Finding it difficult to recreate the topography of the Old West on sound stages and studio backlots, the Hollywood studios went to the rustic valleys, canyons and foothills of Southern California for filming locations. Other large-scale productions, such as war films, also needed large, undeveloped settings for outdoor scenes, such as battles.
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