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Lone Pine museum showcases Inyos cinematic history
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Humphrey Bogarts 1938 Plymouth coupe from The High Sierra movie. - photo by DENNIS WYATT/The 209

LONE PINE — It’s a place where you will find the 1938 Plymouth coupe that gangster Humphrey Bogart fled from the police in the famous cinema chase scene in “High Sierra” filmed in 1941.

There’s a giant worm-like creature Kevin Bacon battled in the 1991 science fiction epic “Tremors.”

There’s also memorabilia from film stars such as Gene Autry, the Lone Ranger, John Wayne, Gary Cooper, Gregory Peck, Errol Flynn,  Nicolas Cage, Roy Rogers, Steve McQueen, Spencer Tracy, and Mel Gibson to name a few.

You’ll find that and much more at the Lone Pine Film History Museum.

It celebrates more than a century of movies as well as TV shows and commercials filmed on location in the Alabama Hills just west of Lone Pine on the way up to the Whitney Portal.

The unique and relative pristine rock formations of the Alabama Hills with the eastern Sierra as a dramatic backdrop has worked for a wide variety of films such as “Charge of the Light Brigade” in 1936, “Django Unchained in 2012, and “Gladiator” in 2000. The top, forte, though are westerns since the scenery resembles old Mexico, vast stretches of the Southwest, and virtually any mountain range imaginable as evident for it working for classics based on British wars in India.

The museum gives you a big dose of cinema history from saddles ridden by the stars, to the cars they drove, the stages they used, the gun they fired, the clothes and hats they wore, the props they used, and even memorabilia marketed with their movies. The walls are literally blanketed with movie posters of bygone eras even in the restrooms.

A must see included in the $5 admission is the 15-minute documentary “Lone Pine: Where the Real West Becomes the Reel West” that is shown in an 85-seat theater. It ends with the catchy Statler Brothers melody “Whatever Happened to Randolph Scott?”

It moves so quick and is interesting enough that teens seeing it keep their eyes riveted to the screen and not their smartphones.

The museum is the location of a number of ongoing events with the biggest being the Lone Pine Film Festival staged every Columbus Day weekend.

Guided tours are available to filming locations that encompass westerns, science fiction and modern films.

There is a gift shop as well with plenty of western and movie type gifts.

General admission is $5 while children under 12 and active military are free.

The museum is open daily except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. Summer hours from April to October are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Winter hours from November to March are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

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