Paramount's Geographic Facsimile Map of 1927


1927 map shows shooting locations in California and Nevada that could serve as "exoctic locales."


  1. I love this map. And I think it still largely applies. The diversity of environments is still one of California’s best treasures.

  2. I love it too, but I wonder about Venice and Holland – where are those supposed to be? I live right about where the Venice, Italy label is, and I’ve been to Venice and this is about as opposite as you could imagine (and I’m familiar with the history of the area – it wasn’t much more like Venice in 1927).

    Of course, when I think of Venice in the 20’s or 30’s I think of the incredible set from Top Hat with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, which I presume was constructed in Hollywood – which still doesn’t match up with the label on this map ;)

    1. I wonder about Venice and Holland – where are those supposed to be?

      Presumably the (now largely dismantled) canal system in Venice, California. The architecture was all wrong but at least you could get a passable gondola scene with some creative camera work.

  3. I remember watching a made for TV movie about the Wright brothers when I was younger. The scenes that took place in Kitty Hawk were amusing to us North Carolinians, as the horizon was full of ragged mountain peaks. I’m sure these days the Outer Banks Mountain Range would be digitally removed.

  4. I’m wondering if the Nile is the Salinas River or Carmel River? The Salinas is kinda impressive where it meets the ocean, but not much otherwise. Wish I was in Africa right now.

  5. Amazing how specific parts of individual US states (Wyoming cattle ranches and Kentucky mountains) have their own designations on the map, as does the entire continent of Africa. Because, y’know, all of Africa is pretty much the same as Los Padres National Forest (or Santa Barbara National Forest, as it was called then)…

    1. Because, y’know, all of Africa is pretty much the same as Los Padres National Forest…

      You do realize that Sudan, the Sahara desert, the Nile river, South Africa and the Red Sea are all in or adjacent to Africa, right?

  6. I’m a bit bemused by bits of California standing in for other bits of California (Spanish California and Bret Harte, California).

  7. My guess is that they’re using the canals of Naples, a neighborhood in Long Beach, to stand in for Venice. That’s in the right spot. Naples has several canals and you can ride a gondola there. The architecture is completely wrong, but I guess that’s what they have set-builders for.

    My question is how on earth Joshua Tree stands in for Sherwood Forest. My guess is that they’re actually referring to mountain forest areas either in the San Bernardinos or near Idyllwild.

  8. I love the specificity of “Sherwood Forest, England”, and how many movies set in Wales were they expecting to be made?

  9. I wonder how they turned the hot, grassy Diablo mountains into Alaskan rivers and the Swiss Alps.

  10. I like the “Swiss Alps” there in the middle. Off of Hwy 77 central Texas has a town called “Swiss Alps”; 100 miles in every direction it’s pancake flat or gently sloping, but in that one spot the continental plateau drops off rather abruptly and it actually does look a bit like Switzerland.

  11. Prescient listing for the “Sahara Desert!” The Imperial Sand Dunes appeared in the Bogart movie, “Sahara”, many years later…and also in the 1950s Aldrich classic, “Flight of the Phoenix.”

  12. Hi there! I am the original Flickr poster. Here is the google books link where I tracked this image down.

    I heard about this map in a class on Avant-Garde film in Los Angeles, and it was mentioned in David James’ book The Most Typical Avant-Garde. I am a scholar interested in place specificity and specifically the visual role of California landscapes in the creation of mediated culture. Cheers!

    -Ambrosia Voyeur

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