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Dec 26, 2014 1:50 AM

5 things to know about Alamo Village

The Associated Press

BRACKETTVILLE, Texas (AP) A Texas businessman wants to revive Alamo Village, the movie set built by John Wayne for his epic film about the historic Alamo siege. It's been closed since 2009. Here are five things to know about the 400-acre park's history:

Nearly a half-dozen Alamo-themed TV shows or movies were made there, as well as hundreds of other productions. One was the acclaimed 1989 TV miniseries "Lonesome Dove," where Alamo Village served as a stand-in for San Antonio, Fort Worth and Santa Rosa, New Mexico. A cantina used in the series, which also was a restaurant for tourists, has a saloon bar that came from a San Francisco brothel.

Wayne's 1960 movie was nominated in 1961 for seven Oscars: best picture, supporting actor (Chill Wills), color cinematography, editing, sound and two for music, including the song "The Green Leaves of Summer." It only won for sound.

"The Alamo" was among the top ten grossing movies in the U.S. in 1960, with nearly $8 million in box office receipts. But that equaled only two-thirds of its $12 million budget, a good part of it financed by Wayne himself. TV rights purchased a decade later by NBC put the film in the black, according to IMDb.com.

Happy and Virginia Shahan owned the 22,000-acre ranch. He was a former mayor of Brackettville and lured Hollywood after the post-World War II deactivation of Fort Clark, a frontier Army post established less than 20 years after the fall of the real Alamo in 1836. Happy Shahan saw Westerns as a way to offset the economic losses from the closing of the fort, whose commanders included a young colonel, George S. Patton.

Among Alamo Village performance alumni is country singer Linda Davis, who won a Grammy with Reba McEntire for their 1993 duet "Does He Love You." Davis' daughter, Hillary Scott, is lead co-singer in the multiple Grammy-winning group Lady Antebellum.


Sources: Rich Curilla, IMDb.com, Texas State Historical Association, Penny Loewen


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