Bronson Canyon, or Bronson Caves, is a section of Griffith Park in Los Angeles, California that has become famous as a filming location for a large number of movies and TV shows, especially westerns and science fiction, from the early days of motion pictures to the present. Its craggy and remote-looking setting, but easily accessible location, has made it a prime choice for filmmakers, particularly of low-budget films, who want to place scenes in a lonely wilderness.
Location and history
Bronson Canyon is located in the southwest section of Griffith Park and is thus easily accessible from Hollywood. From Franklin Avenue, one can go north on Canyon Drive until the road ends for vehicular traffic at the parking lot for "Camp Hollywoodland". At the right (east) side of the road is a small concrete bridge painted red. One can cross the bridge and walk around the vehicle barrier, and follow the unpaved road, keeping left, for the short walk into Bronson Canyon.
In 1903, the Union Rock Company founded a quarry, originally named Brush Canyon, for excavation of crushed rock used in the construction of city streets. The quarry ceased operation in the late 1920s, leaving the caves behind. The caves became known as the Bronson Caves after a nearby street, giving the area its more popular name of Bronson Canyon (the same street indirectly provided the stage name for actor Charles Bronson, who chose the name of the Bronson Gate at Hollywood's Paramount Studios, which in turn derived its name from Bronson Street).
Scenes of the main cave entrance are normally filmed in a manner that shows the entrance at an angle. This is because the cave is actually a very short tunnel through the hill, with the rear opening easily visible in a direct shot. The most well known appearance of the tunnel entrance is likely as the entrance to the Batcave in the Batman television series of the 1960s.
Partial list of motion pictures filmed in Bronson Canyon
This list includes films with one or more scenes filmed in Bronson Canyon, including many serials filmed on location.
TV series filmed in Bronson Canyon
- The A-Team
- The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr.
- The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin
- Alias Smith and Jones
- Bat Masterson
- Beauty and the Geek
- The Dukes of Hazzard ("Hazzard Connection")
- Falcon Crest
- Have Gun, Will Travel
- Little House on the Prairie
- The Lone Ranger
- Mighty Morphin Power Rangers
- Mission: Impossible (1960s)
- The Monkees
- The Outer Limits (1960s)
- Salute Your Shorts (The Cursed Skull)
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
- Star Trek: Enterprise
- Star Trek: The Next Generation
- Star Trek: The Original Series
- Star Trek: Voyager
- Twin Peaks
- The Virginian
- Wonder Woman
Partial list of novels set in Bronson Canyon
- Vasquez Rocks, another Los Angeles landmark used as a set in numerous films and television episodes
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