Postcard from... Bracketville


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The Independent Online

Time and Mother Nature are threatening to dismantle the Alamo. Not the original, but the replica 18th-century Spanish mission and Old West movie set John Wayne built for his Oscar-nominated 1960 film and that for decades was a tourist mecca and film‑production site.

Alamo Village, a 400-acre plot of land about 120 miles west of San Antonio, was carved out of a large ranch in the late 1950s for Wayne’s directorial debut. The 4ft-thick Alamo façade was modelled off a 1936 map of the historic building and set construction took nearly two years. Business at Alamo Village began to wane in the 1980s when traffic along the main east-west route through South Texas shifted north with completion of Interstate 10. It closed to the public after the last remaining owner died in 2009 and the property was divided among heirs. The land now is used primarily for cattle grazing and hunting.

In recent years, a large crack has developed on the front of the Alamo façade. A tree grows inside. At the main entrance to the ranch, only an abandoned ticket booth and a weathered sign telling visitors they’re entering the world’s largest outdoor movie set hint at its storied past. “The weather and elements are taking a toll,” the Texas Film Commission director Heather Page said. AP