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Slide 1 of 36: When the cameras are rolling, a movie set buzzes with activity – but what happens when the clapperboard snaps shut for the final time? Around the world you’ll find some amazing spots that once played host to Hollywood, yet post-production these locations have been left to rack and ruin. While some have come back from the brink, others haven’t always benefited from their five minutes of fame. Here we take a movie tour around abandoned backdrops from the silver screen to discover some happy and not so happy endings...
Slide 2 of 36: The seafaring epic Pirates of the Caribbean first came swashbuckling onto movie screens in 2003. More than 15 years later, the franchise is still going strong having grossed more than $4.5 billion (£3.4bn) at the box office. You can experience an authentic piece of movie history at hotel and restaurant Wallilabou Anchorage on Caribbean island St Vincent’s west coast. The original set was built around the establishment and it still has props from Captain Jack Sparrow’s escape sequence in the first film.
Slide 3 of 36: The 2006 horror movie The Hills Have Eyes kept audiences up at night with its tale of a family left stranded in the Californian wilderness. Anyone who’s seen the film will recognize the stretch of desert outside the city of Ouarzazate in Morocco, which doubled for the US West Coast, and the 'Gas Haven' petrol station where the family first hear of a shortcut through the desert from the store’s creepy clerk.
Slide 4 of 36: Gas Haven isn't the only movie location in the area. It was actually the producers of Lawrence of Arabia (1962) who first saw the potential in the desert outside of Ouarzazate. They needed a location to stand in for Western Asia, with consistent weather and a remote position near the Sahara. Morocco's wilderness fitted the bill. But it wasn't until 1983 that these studios officially opened, providing sets for re-enactments of biblical locations, ancient civilizations and brilliant works of fiction alike. 
Slide 5 of 36: In terms of acreage, Atlas Film Studios is the largest in the world, attracting filmmakers from around the globe. When a set is finished with, it's simply left behind and the next one built. But the harsh sun and damage from sands mean the buildings deteriorate quickly, giving the whole area an eerie overtone that enthralls visitors. Pictured here is the set used in French movie Asterix & Obelix: Mission Cleopatra. 
Slide 6 of 36: The Hunger Games, an adaption of Suzanne Collins’ young adult novels, tells the story of a society divided into poverty-stricken districts and forced to take part in an annual battle. Henry River Mill Village, a former cotton mill town in North Carolina, serves as District 12, the hometown of the film’s heroine Katniss Everdeen, played by Jennifer Lawrence.
Slide 7 of 36: The film crews have long departed and these days you can join a guided tour of the 72-acre site which was originally built in 1905. Expect to explore the abandoned brick Company Store and see inside the Mill Houses. You can even take part in an archery workshop to perfect your Hunger Games skills. 
Slide 8 of 36: Mel Gibson’s The Patriot is set during the American Revolutionary War and was filmed over 100 days across South Carolina state. Fans of the film will recognize Cypress Gardens as the Old Spanish Mission Black Swamp Militia's secret island headquarters. This man-made swampland north of Charleston also features in romantic drama The Notebook, the film adaptation of Nicholas Sparks’ 1996 novel, in which Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling play lovers separated by the Second World War and class. The gardens recently reopened after flooding closed the site in 2015.
Slide 9 of 36: It wasn’t just the set that was abandoned here – a whole movie was too. Constructed in 2010 at the bottom of Mount Vestrahorn near Höfn, a fishing village on the southeast Icelandic coast, this authentic looking Viking town was made for a flick that ran out of cash and never saw the light of day. Nearly a decade on, the rambling set remains intact.
Slide 10 of 36: Today, the farmer on whose land the set was built allows visitors to wander around. Start at the Viking café where you'll pay a small fee to take in the village. You can peek in the set’s dungeon and inside the houses with their turf roofs too.
Slide 11 of 36: Like many film sets, however, this site wasn’t built to last and is gradually becoming a victim of southeast Iceland’s vicious winter weather, which has caused the wooden structures to rot. However, there’s talk Vestrahorn may yet appear on the big screen in a film currently in development. Watch this space…
Slide 12 of 36: Full Metal Jacket, Stanley Kubrick’s 1987 wartime film about America’s ill-fated conflict with Vietnam, wasn’t filmed in southeast Asia at all. The film’s iconic battle scenes were actually shot more than 6,000 miles away on London’s Isle of Dogs, where Kubrick and his team transformed decommissioned coal works factory Beckton Gas Works into a Vietnamese city.
Slide 13 of 36: In one of cinema’s most nerve-wracking moments, the platoon of American marines are tasked with clearing the city of Viet Cong and snipers. Kubrick had the whole gas works selectively demolished and 'dressed' with latticework and appropriate advertising hoardings to make it a believable Vietnamese cityscape.
Slide 14 of 36: Kevin Costner stars as Ray Kinsella, novice corn farmer turned baseball hero, in Field of Dreams, the 1989 film adaptation of W.P. Kinsella’s 1982 novel Shoeless Joe. The film has become a cult classic and scenes for the movie were shot on farms near Dyersville, Iowa.
Slide 15 of 36: The shooting schedule was too short for grass to grow naturally so ground experts who’d worked on two of America’s largest sports stadiums, the Dodger Stadium and the Rose Bowl, were hired to create the field which included painting the turf green.
Slide 16 of 36: Most of the scenes were shot on two farms, one belonging to Don Lansing and the other to Al Ameskamp. After filming finished, Ameskamp decided to grow corn while Lansing kept the set intact and opened the site to the public, attracting around 65,000 visitors a year. Lansing sold the site to Go The Distance Baseball in 2012 and it remains open to tourists.
Slide 17 of 36: Blue Cloud Ranch has served as the setting for countless films and TV shows including Iron Man and American Sniper. It’s also one of the locations used for 2012’s Zero Dark Thirty, a semi-fictional account of the events leading up to the death of Osama bin Laden, once the most wanted man in America. 
Slide 18 of 36: Despite being set in the American Old West, many of cinema's great 'spaghetti Westerns' weren’t filmed in the States at all. In fact, the Tabernas desert near the southern Spanish town of Almería served as the set for countless cowboy classics. The genre was made famous by legendary Italian director Sergio Leone whose films include The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, A Fistful of Dollars and For a Few Dollars More, starring chiseled and grizzled actor Clint Eastwood.
Slide 19 of 36: Leone discovered the site near Almería in 1964. He and his team constructed life-sized towns in the middle of the European desert that served as the backdrop for many films. The sets are still in use today and fans of Nickelodeon's Lost in the West and BBC’s Doctor Who will recognize the location.
Slide 20 of 36: Oasys MiniHollywood is a filming location, Wild West theme park and occasionally a Western-themed wedding location in the province. The site is also a zoological reserve with a large number of species in serious danger of extinction.
Slide 21 of 36: With a new J.R.R. Tolkien biopic about to hit screens, expect another wave of The Lord of the Rings travel interest. The mountains and valleys of New Zealand serve as the backdrop for much of Sir Peter Jackson's epic series. A life-sized 'shire', the hometown of the novel’s Hobbit heroes, was created especially for the movies and located in the northern part of the North Island. However the set you see isn't the same as the movies, as it was rebuilt specifically as a tourist attraction. 
Slide 22 of 36: In 1998, Sir Peter Jackson’s team of location scouts were searching for the rolling hills and lush green pastures of Hobbiton. An aerial search led them to the Alexander farm, a stunning 1,250-acre sheep farm in the heart of the Waikato. Wander among the hobbit houses or step inside the miniature abodes of Frodo Baggins, Peregrin Took and Samwise Gamgee, and keep your eyes peeled for the One Ring.
Slide 23 of 36: Not many people know that the late, great comedian and actor Robin Williams, star of films including Good Will Hunting, Mrs Doubtfire and Dead Poets Society, also played the eponymous character in the 1980 film adaption of the Popeye comics. The rugged Mediterranean island of Malta serves as the principal location for the spinach-guzzling anti-hero's escapades. 
Slide 24 of 36: When the life-sized town constructed in Anchor Bay, in the northwest of the island, was abandoned after filming, the Maltese government decided to revive it as Popeye Village, a family-friendly theme park and now one of the island’s most popular tourist attractions.
Slide 25 of 36: Nowadays you can tour the site, join in the daily filming or if you really want to make like Popeye and Olive, even get married at the quirky coastal town.
Slide 26 of 36: George Lucas’ intergalactic saga Star Wars was a defining moment in the history of cinema and has spawned countless other films set in galaxies far, far away. Desert planet Tatooine plays a major role throughout the franchise as the home planet of Anakin Skywalker, the young Jedi who grows up to become super villain Darth Vader. And the fictional name is a clue to its real-life location...
Slide 27 of 36: Tatooine is named after Tataouine, a city in southern Tunisia. The city features most predominantly in the first of the prequels, 1999’s Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, and is a popular attraction to this day, with the unique cave architecture of its Berber population.
Slide 28 of 36: Fans of the franchise can also visit Hotel Sidi Idriss, around two hours' drive north of Tataouine, which served as the Lars homestead location. This unique accommodation features in some of the first film's moments.
Slide 29 of 36: Part of the Marvel franchise, Iron Man first hit screens in 2008. Actor Robert Downey Jr. won hearts with his performance of the eponymous anti-hero. The landscapes of Kunar Province, Afghanistan, where Iron Man's alter ego Tony Stark is captured after a raid on the army convoy, were actually shot in Alabama Hills at Lone Pine, California.
Slide 30 of 36: In Iron Man 2, Stark Industry’s airfield is Edwards Air Force Base, about 25 miles northeast of Lancaster in the Mojave Desert, California. The base is a screen regular, having appeared in The Right Stuff, Armageddon and the Transformers movies.
Slide 31 of 36: Actors Jack Black and Michael Cera buddy up in 2009’s Year One, a tongue-in-cheek comedy about the history of early cave-dwelling mankind. The set, which is near the town of Sibley in northeast Louisiana, is one of the wildest movie locations. It's six acres, surrounded by many more acres of desert-looking sand, and stands in for the biblical city Sodom.
Slide 32 of 36: Martin Scorsese's 2002 epic Gangs of New York is set in mid-19th-century New York slums and stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Daniel Day-Lewis and Cameron Diaz. The characters are caught up in a long-standing Irish-Protestant feud on the street of Five Points, Manhattan, but the movie set was a long way from the Big Apple.
Slide 33 of 36: The film was actually shot in Rome, Italy at the famous Cinecittà (Cinema City), still the largest film studio in Europe and the hub of Italian cinema to this day.
Slide 34 of 36: Production designer Dante Ferretti recreated more than a mile of mid-19th-century New York buildings, many of which you can still see today. It consisted of a five-block area of Lower Manhattan, including a section of the East River waterfront and two full-sized sailing ships. Talk about going all out!  Read more: Famous movie locations in every state
Slide 35 of 36: Acclaimed director Tim Burton’s Big Fish (2003) is the tear-jerking story of a son’s reconciliation with his dying father. Burton and his team had the fictional town of Spectre constructed from scratch rather than use a real-world location as the set. The town was built on an island along the banks of the Alabama River near the town of Montgomery and still stands today.   Read more: 30 horror movie and TV locations scarier than on screen
Slide 36 of 36: Tourists can still walk in the footsteps of the film's blockbuster names (which include Ewan McGregor, Marion Cotillard and Helena Bonham Carter) on the now deserted and somewhat eerie set, which today is overgrown with wildlife.  Discover more locations around the world where Mother Nature has run riot here.

Lights! Camera! Disrepair!

When the cameras are rolling, a movie set buzzes with activity – but what happens when the clapperboard snaps shut for the final time? Around the world you’ll find some amazing spots that once played host to Hollywood, yet post-production these locations have been left to rack and ruin. While some have come back from the brink, others haven’t always benefited from their five minutes of fame. Here we take a movie tour around abandoned backdrops from the silver screen to discover some happy and not so happy endings…

Wallilabou Anchorage, St Vincent, Caribbean: Pirates of the Caribbean

The seafaring epic Pirates of the Caribbean first came swashbuckling onto movie screens in 2003. More than 15 years later, the franchise is still going strong having grossed more than $4.5 billion at the box office. You can experience an authentic piece of movie history at hotel and restaurant Wallilabou Anchorage on Caribbean island St Vincent’s west coast. The original set was built around the establishment and it still has props from Captain Jack Sparrow’s escape sequence in the first film.

Gas Haven, near Ouarzazate, Morocco: The Hills Have Eyes

The 2006 horror movie The Hills Have Eyes kept audiences up at night with its tale of a family left stranded in the Californian wilderness. Anyone who’s seen the film will recognize the stretch of desert outside the city of Ouarzazate in Morocco, which doubled for the US West Coast, and the ‘Gas Haven’ petrol station where the family first hear of a shortcut through the desert from the store’s creepy clerk.

Atlas Corporation Studios, near Ouarzazate, Morocco: The Mummy/Black Hawk Down

Gas Haven isn’t the only movie location in the area. It was actually the producers of Lawrence of Arabia (1962) who first saw the potential in the desert outside of Ouarzazate. They needed a location to stand in for Western Asia, with consistent weather and a remote position near the Sahara. Morocco’s wilderness fitted the bill. But it wasn’t until 1983 that these studios officially opened, providing sets for re-enactments of biblical locations, ancient civilizations and brilliant works of fiction alike. 

Atlas Corporation Studios, near Ouarzazate, Morocco: The Mummy/Black Hawk Down

In terms of acreage, Atlas Film Studios is the largest in the world, attracting filmmakers from around the globe. When a set is finished with, it’s simply left behind and the next one built. But the harsh sun and damage from sands mean the buildings deteriorate quickly, giving the whole area an eerie overtone that enthralls visitors. Pictured here is the set used in French movie Asterix & Obelix: Mission Cleopatra

Henry River Mill Village, North Carolina, USA: The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games, an adaption of Suzanne Collins’ young adult novels, tells the story of a society divided into poverty-stricken districts and forced to take part in an annual battle. Henry River Mill Village, a former cotton mill town in North Carolina, serves as District 12, the hometown of the film’s heroine Katniss Everdeen, played by Jennifer Lawrence.

Henry River Mill Village, North Carolina, USA: The Hunger Games

The film crews have long departed and these days you can join a guided tour of the 72-acre site which was originally built in 1905. Expect to explore the abandoned brick Company Store and see inside the Mill Houses. You can even take part in an archery workshop to perfect your Hunger Games skills. 

Cypress Gardens, South Carolina, USA: The Patriot/The Notebook

Mel Gibson’s The Patriot is set during the American Revolutionary War and was filmed over 100 days across South Carolina state. Fans of the film will recognize Cypress Gardens as the Old Spanish Mission Black Swamp Militia’s secret island headquarters. This man-made swampland north of Charleston also features in romantic drama The Notebook, the film adaptation of Nicholas Sparks’ 1996 novel, in which Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling play lovers separated by the Second World War and class. The gardens recently reopened after flooding closed the site in 2015.

Vestrahorn, Höfn, Iceland: unknown

Vestrahorn, Höfn, Iceland: unknown

Vestrahorn, Höfn, Iceland: unknown

Like many film sets, however, this site wasn’t built to last and is gradually becoming a victim of southeast Iceland’s vicious winter weather, which has caused the wooden structures to rot. However, there’s talk Vestrahorn may yet appear on the big screen in a film currently in development. Watch this space…

Beckton Gas Works, London, UK: Full Metal Jacket

Full Metal Jacket, Stanley Kubrick’s 1987 wartime film about America’s ill-fated conflict with Vietnam, wasn’t filmed in southeast Asia at all. The film’s iconic battle scenes were actually shot more than 6,000 miles away on London’s Isle of Dogs, where Kubrick and his team transformed decommissioned coal works factory Beckton Gas Works into a Vietnamese city.

Beckton Gas Works, London, UK: Full Metal Jacket

In one of cinema’s most nerve-wracking moments, the platoon of American marines are tasked with clearing the city of Viet Cong and snipers. Kubrick had the whole gas works selectively demolished and ‘dressed’ with latticework and appropriate advertising hoardings to make it a believable Vietnamese cityscape.

Dyersville, Iowa, USA: Field of Dreams

Kevin Costner stars as Ray Kinsella, novice corn farmer turned baseball hero, in Field of Dreams, the 1989 film adaptation of W.P. Kinsella’s 1982 novel Shoeless Joe. The film has become a cult classic and scenes for the movie were shot on farms near Dyersville, Iowa.

Dyersville, Iowa, USA: Field of Dreams

Dyersville, Iowa, USA: Field of Dreams

Blue Cloud Ranch, Santa Clarita, USA: Zero Dark Thirty

Blue Cloud Ranch has served as the setting for countless films and TV shows including Iron Man and American Sniper. It’s also one of the locations used for 2012’s Zero Dark Thirty, a semi-fictional account of the events leading up to the death of Osama bin Laden, once the most wanted man in America. 

Tabernas desert, Almería, Spain: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Despite being set in the American Old West, many of cinema’s great ‘spaghetti Westerns’ weren’t filmed in the States at all. In fact, the Tabernas desert near the southern Spanish town of Almería served as the set for countless cowboy classics. The genre was made famous by legendary Italian director Sergio Leone whose films include The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, A Fistful of Dollars and For a Few Dollars More, starring chiseled and grizzled actor Clint Eastwood.

Tabernas desert, Almería, Spain: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Leone discovered the site near Almería in 1964. He and his team constructed life-sized towns in the middle of the European desert that served as the backdrop for many films. The sets are still in use today and fans of Nickelodeon’s Lost in the West and BBC’s Doctor Who will recognize the location.

Tabernas desert, Almería, Spain: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Hobbiton, New Zealand: The Lord of the Rings

With a new J.R.R. Tolkien biopic about to hit screens, expect another wave of The Lord of the Rings travel interest. The mountains and valleys of New Zealand serve as the backdrop for much of Sir Peter Jackson’s epic series. A life-sized ‘shire’, the hometown of the novel’s Hobbit heroes, was created especially for the movies and located in the northern part of the North Island. However the set you see isn’t the same as the movies, as it was rebuilt specifically as a tourist attraction. 

Hobbiton, New Zealand: The Lord of the Rings

Popeye Village, Mellieha, Malta: Popeye

Not many people know that the late, great comedian and actor Robin Williams, star of films including Good Will Hunting, Mrs Doubtfire and Dead Poets Society, also played the eponymous character in the 1980 film adaption of the Popeye comics. The rugged Mediterranean island of Malta serves as the principal location for the spinach-guzzling anti-hero’s escapades. 

Popeye Village, Mellieha, Malta: Popeye

Popeye Village, Mellieha, Malta: Popeye

Nowadays you can tour the site, join in the daily filming or if you really want to make like Popeye and Olive, even get married at the quirky coastal town.

Tataouine, Tunisia: Star Wars

George Lucas’ intergalactic saga Star Wars was a defining moment in the history of cinema and has spawned countless other films set in galaxies far, far away. Desert planet Tatooine plays a major role throughout the franchise as the home planet of Anakin Skywalker, the young Jedi who grows up to become super villain Darth Vader. And the fictional name is a clue to its real-life location…

Tataouine, Tunisia: Star Wars

Tatooine is named after Tataouine, a city in southern Tunisia. The city features most predominantly in the first of the prequels, 1999’s Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, and is a popular attraction to this day, with the unique cave architecture of its Berber population.

Tataouine, Tunisia: Star Wars

Lone Pine, California, USA: Iron Man

Part of the Marvel franchise, Iron Man first hit screens in 2008. Actor Robert Downey Jr. won hearts with his performance of the eponymous anti-hero. The landscapes of Kunar Province, Afghanistan, where Iron Man’s alter ego Tony Stark is captured after a raid on the army convoy, were actually shot in Alabama Hills at Lone Pine, California.

Edwards Air Force Base, California, USA: Iron Man 2

In Iron Man 2, Stark Industry’s airfield is Edwards Air Force Base, about 25 miles northeast of Lancaster in the Mojave Desert, California. The base is a screen regular, having appeared in The Right Stuff, Armageddon and the Transformers movies.

Sibley, Louisiana, USA: Year One

Actors Jack Black and Michael Cera buddy up in 2009’s Year One, a tongue-in-cheek comedy about the history of early cave-dwelling mankind. The set, which is near the town of Sibley in northeast Louisiana, is one of the wildest movie locations. It’s six acres, surrounded by many more acres of desert-looking sand, and stands in for the biblical city Sodom.

Cinecittà, Rome, Italy: Gangs of New York

Martin Scorsese’s 2002 epic Gangs of New York is set in mid-19th-century New York slums and stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Daniel Day-Lewis and Cameron Diaz. The characters are caught up in a long-standing Irish-Protestant feud on the street of Five Points, Manhattan, but the movie set was a long way from the Big Apple.

Cinecittà, Rome, Italy: Gangs of New York

Cinecittà, Rome, Italy: Gangs of New York

Production designer Dante Ferretti recreated more than a mile of mid-19th-century New York buildings, many of which you can still see today. It consisted of a five-block area of Lower Manhattan, including a section of the East River waterfront and two full-sized sailing ships. Talk about going all out!

Montgomery, Alabama, USA: Big Fish

Acclaimed director Tim Burton’s Big Fish (2003) is the tear-jerking story of a son’s reconciliation with his dying father. Burton and his team had the fictional town of Spectre constructed from scratch rather than use a real-world location as the set. The town was built on an island along the banks of the Alabama River near the town of Montgomery and still stands today. 

Montgomery, Alabama, USA: Big Fish

Tourists can still walk in the footsteps of the film’s blockbuster names (which include Ewan McGregor, Marion Cotillard and Helena Bonham Carter) on the now deserted and somewhat eerie set, which today is overgrown with wildlife.

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