SCV In the Movies | Episode 36: Code of the West (Newhall in 1929)
All towns have old pictures of their historic buildings. But as Hollywood’s back lot since the dawn of the Western, the Santa Clarita Valley has something most other towns don’t have: We’ve got our history on film.
If you’ve never heard of the star of this film, Bob Custer, it doesn’t matter. Most folks haven’t. What’s interesting is that thanks to early movie maker Trem Carr, we get to see Newhall as it was in 1929. And since it’s on film, we get to see the town and its buildings with human interaction, which is something a still image really can’t provide.
Incidentally, Carr’s first movie ranch eventually morphed into Disney’s Golden Oak Ranch, which as of 2013 is poised for a major expansion, and the second movie ranch he set up in Placerita Canyon with owner Ernie Hickson became Melody Ranch, still in use today.
ABOUT E.J. STEPHENS
E.J. Stephens is a noted Hollywood historian, author, lecturer and tour guide. An Indiana native, E.J. has lived for 10 years in the Santa Clarita Valley with his wife Kimi and their two children, Mariah and Dylan.
By day, E.J. can be found in Burbank on the Warner Bros. Studios lot where he is a tour guide and an audience coordinator on Conan O’Brien’s late-night talk show. When not giving tours at the studio, E.J. and Kimi host tours of their own for their Newhall-based company, Newhallywood Tours.
E.J. has co-written four books on subjects ranging from the history of Warner Bros. and Paramount to Griffith Park and the Santa Clarita Valley (the latter with Kimi and Dr. Alan Pollack). The trio is currently working on another SCV history book titled “Then & Now: The Santa Clarita Valley,” scheduled to hit the shelves in early 2014.
ABOUT BILL WEST©2013 SCVTV
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.
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 attractions. Previously, he wrote software at Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Bill enjoys lounge music and he plays the drums for pickup bands. He lives in Santa Clarita with his Realtor (his wife Liliana) and their son Josh. Pets include Maya the Mutt, Luigi the Canary, and a cat whose name he can’t pronounce but is Polish for “kitty.”