FANDANGO
 

  1. A lively Spanish dance.

  2. The music for this.

  3. A foolish act.

 

From the Movie - 1985Chata Ortega's - 1998
"There's nothing wrong with going nowhere, son. It's a privilege of youth"

 

 

 

 

 

Film Locations

 

 

 

The locations were determined by either visiting them or through the film's production notes, which also provided some of the remarks.

 

 

 

 

Where is...

Known film locations

 

Pecos Parachute SchoolCampus quarters set & 'World's Dirtiest Men's Room'Wedding preparationsThe wedding scene.

Additional information about locations can be found at HowAboutAFandango.

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Each location was subject to three criteria:

(As described in the script, courtesy of Amblin Entertainment)

  1. Did it fit creatively into the film;

  2. How would it look through the camera lens; and

  3. Was it possible to get there, with trucks, cameras, actors and technicians?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chata Ortega's
Chata Ortega's, home of the horn-dog women, is located on I-20, near Toyah, Texas - which is between
Monahans and Pecos:

Regional map - Toyah

 
It is on the south side of the road near exit 28 (Shaw Road).

Shaw Road map 2
 
If you are traveling west on I-20 you need to take the Shaw Rd. exit, then go under the overpass, then turn immediately right on the access road (it's a two-way access road). It dead ends just past Chata Ortega's. The building is the only structure in the field, about 100 yards beyond the fence. You can't miss it!

The locator above is not necessarily to scale, but you get the idea.

Although apparently on private land (behind a locked gate), we simply went through the barbed wire for a closer look!
Note: My directions are from memory, although I'm certain the exit is Shaw Rd. You might have to drive past Chata's (it's easy to overlook), then double back a few miles down the road! (I did, twice!) If you do, you'll still need to exit at Shaw Rd. as it dead end's beyond Chata's.

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"Pecos Parachute School"
Actually, the "school" is the  former Rattlesnake A.F.B., where B-17 and B-29 bomber crews once trained for WWII duty. Located a mile or so south of I-20 at Pyote, Texas, near the West Texas State School:

As you can see, it is east of Pecos - between Midland-Odessa and Pecos.
The bad news is, Rattlesnake A.F.B. appears to be on private land with no visible means of (legal) access. You can see the hangars from the highway, but that's about it. We are still searching for a way to get on the property legally!

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The Groovers' campus quarters and The World's Dirtiest Men's Room
"Only two of the "Fandango" sets - The Groovers' campus quarters and "the world's dirtiest men's room" - were not the real thing. Both were created in the shell of an abandoned school in Toyah, Texas, once a thriving railhead, now a rural hamlet, population 49."
  • This "set" is a few blocks north of I-20. The old schoolhouse is abandoned and boarded up.
    Toyah

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Wedding Preparations
"In the sun baked square of Presidio, Texas, three old men will be prevailed upon to match the magic of the Magi. People will pour forth from adobe homes, caught in a spirit of a romantic carnival. An ancient Cessna will sputter through the Texas sky on a mission of mercy. And a girl with hair like honey will dance through the night of the last fandango."
  • The gazebo scene was filmed in San Elizario. The gazebo and square have been redesigned to be almost unrecognizable. The church is readily recognizable

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The Wedding Scene (gazebo)
"San Elizario... a magnificent mission church, one of the last surviving examples of Spanish colonial religious architecture in West Texas, dominates the town square. In the center of the plaza is a trellised turn-of-the-century gazebo."
"(Director Kevin) Reynolds recalls that when he wrote the film's final scene - the fairy-tale wedding that concludes the fandango - he pictured a 'place a lot like this one' in his mind."

"Then I had to go find it, presuming it really existed. It did. And with only a few alterations - a vacant shop converted into a drugstore, another turned into a bakery, fresh grass in the town square and a ribbon of lights across the gazebo - it became what he'd imagined. An oasis of romance in the prairie."

"Have a nice life."

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