Celluloid Desert: Tucson in Cinema History

Thursdays, 5–7 p.m.
The Loft Cinema
Class size
96 students

Just 15 years after the birth of the moving image, the first film was shot in Tucson. Sunshine, railroad access, and exotic flora, fauna, and faces made Tucson an ideal movie location. Images of the frontier, the Old West, and the New West have been shaped in the public imagination by our celluloid desert. This course will look at some of the many iterations of film in Tucson, including early silent films; Hollywood westerns, melodramas, and mysteries; television series; commercials; and homemade films about the region. Professor Jenkins’ course will give a thorough background of Tucson’s rich cinematic history, building up to the incredible array of local film activity that will occur in Tucson during the month of October.

Course Details


Each 2-hour class will incorporate viewings of clips and shorter films, lecture, and some discussion.

Readings and Syllabus

A finalized syllabus and more information about how and where to access any reading assignments will be available prior to the beginning of the course, per instructors’ directions.


Refund policy

Refunds are available until 4 p.m. on Tuesday, August 28, 2018. A $25 administrative fee will apply.


Location Details
The class meets at The Loft Cinema, Screen 3. Screen 3 is fully accessible and has a Hearing Loop Induction service.

The Loft Cinema features several dedicated parking lots just next to the building, with parking available at no cost.