Back in 1949, Ray Bernard, better known as Crash Corrigan, an actor and stuntman of B-movie westerns, decided to build a movie ranch. He then decided to open it up to the public on weekends, while maintaining it as a fully functioning backlot during the week.
Think of it a mix of Knott’s Berry Farm and Universal Studios. Kids could watch shoot outs and even have their picture taken with Crash himself. He allowed other films and shows to use his ranch, and if they built anything, they had to leave it for tourists to visit.
Corriganville was sold to Bob Hope in 1965 for a housing development. The area suffered two fires, one in 1971 and another in 1979. In 1988, the undeveloped portion became a park, owned by the City of Simi Valley.
Today foundations of the buildings—including the bizarre human-made lake fitted with a unique camera room to film underwater sequences—used in Jungle Jim, Creature from the Black Lagoon, and The African Queen remain visible to visitors.
Know Before You Go
From the 118 freeway, travel south on Kuehner Drive for about a mile. Turn left onto Smith Road. When Smith Road ends, turn left into the Corriganville Park parking lot. Dogs must be on a leash at all times.