Filmmaking in San Antonio since 1910
Chronicles the richness of San Antonio’s filmmaking heritage
Hundreds of movies have been filmed in San Antonio since the first movie studio in Texas opened in the city in 1910. They range from silent flickers to major Hollywood productions, offbeat independent films, low-budget horror films, and everything in between. Some of history’s most honored and loved films have been filmed in San Antonio, including the winner of the first Academy Award for Best Picture.
“I much prefer San Antonio for the production for pictures to either New York or Los Angeles,” one movie director observed in 1919. “San Antonio has all the advantages of both places with the addition of a few neither can boast of.”
Such advantages—varied countryside, interesting architecture, rich history, good weather, talented people—continue to yield a remarkably diverse number of films. A broad San Antonio presence is obvious in some: Cloak and Dagger (1984), Still Breathing (1998), and Evenhand (2001). Others draw on the city’s longstanding relationship with the military: Wings (1927), West Point of the Air (1935), Air Cadet (1951), and a host of Alamo films beginning with The Immortal Alamo (1911). San Antonio also substitutes for such places as the South (The Warrens of Virginia, 1924), Chicago (The Big Brawl, 1980), Colombia (Toy Soldiers, 1991), and Africa (Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls, 1995).
California film historian Frank Thompson sorts it all out in this entertainingly written, dramatically illustrated, and thoroughly researched work, concluding with a landmark San Antonio filmography. He leaves no doubt about the rich filmmaking heritage that gives San Antonio claim to the title “Texas Hollywood.”