The area around Page has always been a prime location for movies and TV shows. The rugged and unusual terrain in the area makes it a unique spot for movie making. Here are a few of the movies/TV episodes I remember being filmed near Page:
Route 66 Season 1, Episode 9, Layout at Glen Canyon (1960)
The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965)
Planet of the Apes (1968)
Easy Rider (1969)
The Outlaw Jose Wales (1976)
Greatest Heroes of the Bible (1978) – A made for TV mini-series. I was an extra in one of these episodes and will be signing autographs later.
Superman III (1983)
Maverick (1994) – There’s a scene in this movie with houseboats visible in the background. Ooops!
Broken Arrow (1996)
Planet of the Apes (2001)
There were more, but you get the idea. Here are a couple more pictures I wanted to share with you from the first Planet of the Apes, filmed at Lake Powell in 1968, four years after the completion of Glen Canyon Dam. I don’t remember where I got these.
The early, undated photo of the Beehive at the top shows preliminary work underway for the Glen Canyon Bridge and Dam. I can’t tell if the east side has been cut away yet. The second picture is one I captured on Google Earth for comparison. I love putting together these then and now pics when I come across them. I’m close to brilliant! 🙂
Here’s another aerial view of the Glen Canyon Dam construction site. This is looking upstream toward Wahweap creek. It’s a good look at the coffer dam, the early stages of the dam itself, and the power plant. The crane towers are visible on each side of the dam. If I remember right, there were two 25-ton towers and one 50-ton tower on either side. These crane towers moved back and forth along tracks. The road down to the visitor lookout site is visible on the right side of the canyon, coming off of US89. The oval shaped area was the parking lot and you can see the walking trail down to the lookout point. The footbridge is faintly visible in this photo too.
Lake Shore Drive, which was still dirt, is clearly visible. It was built and used for hauling gravel to the concrete batch plant at the dam site. Aggregate was trucked in to the batch plant from Wahweap Creek and dumped in an underground hopper at the base of the conveyor belt, visible in this picture near the end of the road. The aggregate was processed and conveyed to the concrete mixing plant seen in this picture on a large shelf cut out of the canyon wall. That concrete mixing plant was about twenty stories tall. The mixed concrete was dumped into a rail car that in turn, dumped the concrete into the buckets suspended by the cranes, for their trip to the topmost section of the growing dam. That’s the abbreviated story of the process. I always wanted to go inside that mixing plant but I never got the chance. Click on the image to enlarge it. Download it and check out the detail.
There’s a lot of good detail in this photo.It’s a good look at both spillways and the temporary coffer dam at the bottom of the picture. The concrete batch plant is visible on the canyon edge to the right. Water is visible exiting the right diversion tunnel, but not the left. The left diversion tunnel inlet was about 33 feet higher than the right tunnel inlet and was intended to be used only during high river flows. The parking lot for the lookout point is visible on the left, just above the bridge. The rectangular building along the highway on the left side of the bridge was the original visitor’s center. It was later moved into town and became the LARC center. I don’t remember what that acronym means. The rail-mounted cranes are visible on either side of the canyon. There were two 25-ton cranes and one 50-ton crane on each side. In addition to transporting buckets of concrete to the dam, these cranes were used to transport people and equipment in and out of the dam site. Near the bottom right corner of the picture, you can see the tower structure holding the footbridge, and the footbridge is visible too. The dark area by that tower, that curves around the sandstone knoll, was the road/parking lot for the footbridge. You can still see the remnants of that road on Google Earth. Go take a look.
Here’s a 1960-ish shot of Page and the surrounding area from the seat of a plane. If you click on it, it will open it up in a new tab and enable you to zoom in closer. All of my pictures work that way. You’re welcome. 🙂 Enlarge it and let’s talk about some of the detail.
Starting on the bottom left, you’ll see the original radio station (KPGE) just off the old Coppermine road. I don’t remember what the building between it and the water treatment plant was. If you do, please leave a comment and let me know. I posted pictures of the water treatment plant already in a post I called Got Water? You can check it out >HERE<. Next to the water treatment plant is the go-cart track and the Little League baseball field. If you look at that area on Google Earth, you can still see remnants of the go-cart track. That’s actually the second location of the baseball field. The first one was behind Keisling’s gas station and The Bottle Stop (now Stix Market). The outline of it is still visible in this picture. You can see that original field better >HERE<.
Moving up from the water treatment plant, you’ll notice that Chapman’s trailer park isn’t there yet. Several church buildings are dotting the landscape along church row (7th Avenue – now Lake Powell BLVD). The long buildings on the inside loop of church row were the teacher’s apartments. They may have been under Continue reading “1960s Aerial View of Page Arizona”
This is a great shot of the bridge. I was looking closely at the detail in it (the resolution on some of these early black & white photos is amazing) and noticed quite a few things. Click on the picture to open it up and then zoom in. Here’s what I noticed:
First, it looks like it was taken from the old visitor lookout on the Page side of the canyon. Do you remember that spot? It’s still there but blocked off. It provided a great view of the dam and bridge from just downstream of it. There was a parking lot and a short trail down to the lookout. You can still see it on Google Earth. Back to the picture. This is looking upstream. Notice that on top of the bridge, construction is going on while visitors are allowed to be there. I don’t think anyone would get away with that today. You can see the footbridge in the background. This also provides a good shot of the dirt coffer dam that was built to divert water (via the diversion tunnels) around the dam site during that early construction. Notice too, the first few levels of the dam that have been poured. The penstocks are visible, angling out of the top of each level. Look how small the people are standing on the dam. Notice too, the wooden walkways and stairs between each section. Those were constantly being moved as the dam went up. I remember standing on the bridge so many times, watching these same things going on below.
Did you notice the ladders at the top of the bridge? Do you see the cables tied to the handrails by the ladders? Follow them down to the horizontal cross brace and you’ll see two workers (one on each end of the brace) working to secure the cross brace to the main structure. You can see the cable from the crane on top between the two workers at the top. It looks like the crane is holding that cross brace in place while it’s being attached. You’ll notice the cross braces on the other side of the bridge are already in place, but the one to the left of the one they’re installing is yet to be added.
Here’s a great look at the left (Page side) key-way for Glen Canyon Dam. The key-ways were the vertical cut outs in the canyon walls where the dam was anchored into the rock. You can see two rectangle tunnels in the key-way and a third one to the right. I’m not sure what that third one was for, but there were a total of four of the other tunnels spaced along both key-ways. As the dam was built, these were connected to walkways inside the dam that ran the full length of the dam from edge to edge. There was instrumentation placed in those tunnels to measure stability and movement, and probably a lot of other things I’m not aware of. But having been inside at least one of them once the dam was finished, I remember how cold, wet, and eerie it was. I can also still remember the smell – like wet concrete. But I digress.
The towers above were the mobile cranes that rode along tracks and could move back and forth to move materials, people, and dump concrete buckets during the construction of the dam. There were three more on the opposite side of the canyon, behind the photographer. On the right side of the key-way is an elevator that ran on vertical rails up and down the canyon wall. I remember watching that thing from the bridge as it shuffled people in and out of the canyon. It seems like there was another smaller one to the right of that one, but it’s all a blur. I’m not sure what the wooden structures at the top of the key-way were.