Cinephile Alert: Must-Visit Abandoned Movie Sets From Around The World

Cinephile Alert: Must-Visit Abandoned Movie Sets From Around The World
There are numerous abandoned movie sets around the world that you can visit. Credit: Shutterstock

There are numerous locations throughout the globe that have hosted well-known celebrities and directors, but were abandoned to rust and ruin post-production

Kartikeya Shankar
December 27 , 2022
02 Min Read

Watched a great movie, and wanted to visit the fantastic set where it was shot? What if we tell you that there are numerous abandoned movie sets around the world that you can visit and experience what it feels like to be part of the backdrop of your favourite films? Here's a look at five such film sets.

Tunisia: Star Wars Set
This artefact from George Lucas's epic space adventure Star Wars is situated close to Nefta, on the outskirts of the Sahara desert, in northern Africa. It continues to be incredibly popular even today. It is easily reachable if you are prepared to travel a few hours from Tunis, the country's capital. One of the most well-known movies of all time owes a lot to Tunisia, whose design and architecture inspired many of the sci-fi classic's visual and auditory cues.


An abandoned Star Wars set in Tunisia. Credit: Shutterstock

Malta: Popeye Village
Due to the locals' business initiatives, this odd collection of colourful wooden structures along the coast of Malta has experienced a revival. The set was created for a musical live-action Popeye adaption, but following a problematic production, the actors and crew hurriedly left the country. Popeye (1980) did not succeed at the box office, but Popeye Village is today one of the island's busiest tourist destinations. There are shows, rides, museums, and kid-friendly play areas where kids can interact with the key characters from the programme, including Popeye, Olive Oyl, Bluto, and Wimpy.

California: Pioneertown
Pioneertown, an abandoned relic where The Cisco Kid and Judge Roy Bean were shot, is located in California, America. Pioneertown was a part of a more extensive film studio set that was even financed by movie stars, but it eventually lost its popularity in Hollywood. The fully operational town now features a hotel, several bars, and an increasing number of inhabitants who call the area home, thanks to a fresh influx of tourists.

St Vincent (Caribbean): Port Royal
The northwest coast of Saint Vincent's volcanic island, Wallilabou Bay, was changed for the unexpected box-office success of Pirates of the Caribbean. Based on the ride of the same name at the Disneyland Resort, the hidden yet naturally stunning landscape was transformed into the primary setting for the sailing adventures of Captain Jack Sparrow, played by Johnny Depp. You can also reserve a room at the Wallilabou Anchorage, which has preserved some of the film's props and design elements.

New Zealand: Hobbiton
According to JRR Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings book series, the Shire is made up of many lush spaces, rolling hills, countless trees, and of course, hobbit holes. Writer and producer Peter Jackson discovered the ideal location for Hobbiton in the heart of Waikato, New Zealand, as he undertook the enormous task of bringing this planet to life for his film series. For the millions of tourists that visit New Zealand each year, locals have done an excellent job of maintaining the dozens of hobbit holes, the homes occupied by the miniature characters in the stories.

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