SCV In the Movies | Episode 09: The Beast of Yucca Flats
The Beast of Yucca Flats
Cinema Associates 1961
We know that this sorry excuse for a movie was shot in the Santa Clarita Valley, but we don’t know exactly where. If you recognize any of the locations, shoot us an email.
The quick exterior of a diner appears to be the old Bamboo Cafe in Newhall, but the rest of it looks like the area stretching from Mint Canyon (Canyon Country) to Acton. Note the presence of yuccas and the absence of Joshua trees, which you’d see if it were closer to Palmdale.
Our best guess puts the airplane at the old 6-S Ranch Airpark, north of Soledad Canyon Road between Camp Plenty and Whites. The landing strip closed for business in 1960. Canyon Country was still wilderness and scattered ranches.
This film was released in 1961, the same year Canyon Country saw its very first tract homes (North Oaks), roughly where the landing strip had been located. The area was still considered part of Saugus; the name “Canyon Country” wasn’t used prior to the opening of North Oaks.
E.J. Stephens spends his days as an archivist/historian for a movie studio and his nights as a caped vigilante.
When not fighting evil-doers with derring-do and aplomb, E.J. writes Hollywood history books (which nobody reads), leads tours (which nobody goes on), and co-hosts “SCV in the Movies,” (which nobody watches). E.J. is also on the board of directors of the Friends of Hart Park (but he never attends the meetings).
He and Kimi, his wife, best friend, and co-conspirator, live in Newhall.
Bill West is a movie nut who serves on the board of Friends of Hart Park, gives tours of the Hart Mansion and maintains the Friends’ website and newsletter.
In his “spare time,” Bill writes software for Walt Disney Imagineering, where he has contributed to Star Tours, Toy Story Midway Mania, the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage and other Disney attractions worldwide. Previously, he wrote software at Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where he met his wife, realtor and model Liliana West.
Bill lives in Santa Clarita with Liliana, their son Josh, and their pets which include Hannah the Dog, Luigi the Canary, Butterscotch the Guinea Pig, and a cat whose name he can’t pronounce but is Polish for “Kitty.”©2011 SCVTV