BENSON — An old film set in Mescal is being restored with hopes of bringing future productions back to the property.
Built between 1968 and 1970, the Mescal Movie Set served as a backdrop for about 84 television and productions.
“Monte Walsh,” starring Lee Marvin and Jack Palance, was the first movie filmed at the location in 1970.
“Tombstone” was filmed there in 1993, as was “The Quick and the Dead” in 1995.
Today, the set’s Old West buildings, porches and boardwalks are dilapidated and in dire need of repair.
The Kartchner family acquired the movie set in February and plans to renovate the existing 27 buildings, as well as expand the set with a few more additions.
“We have plans for adding a blacksmith shop and a church and we want to create our own boothill cemetery,” said Mark Sankey, a former Old Tucson Studios employee who has been hired as the set’s marketing director. “Plans are to rebuild the set, with a goal of preserving as many of the original buildings as possible.”
While groups of volunteers have helped with a number of cleanup, safety and rebuilding projects, there is a lot more to be done.
To help raise money for the project, the Kartchner family has launched the Mescal Movie Set Steer Raffle, giving three winners a chance to win a butchered steer.
“Three steers are being raffled off with a limit of 150 tickets sold, or 50 $100-tickets per steer,” Sankey said.
“The drawing happens on June 12, and you don’t have to be present to win.”
Participants can watch the drawing live on Facebook: facebook.com/mescalmovieset.
“Those interested in participating can call 520-255-662, or email email@example.com. Participants can pay by Paypal or Square,” said Sankey, who added, “Those are pretty good odds.”