Historic El Rancho – Hotel of the Movie Stars
Who’s Who of Stars Slept Here
Returning from my birthday trip to Sedona, I made a stop at Hotel El Rancho in Gallup, New Mexico. Opening in 1937, the brother of film director D.W Griffith built it to be used as a base for movie productions. It was a premier hotel on the Historic Route 66. The staff was trained by the famous Fred Harvey Company hotel and restaurant chain.
During the 1930’s and 1940’s, this was a home away from home for many famous movie stars. John Wayne, Spencer Tracy, Kirk Douglas, and Katheryn Hepburn are a few of its many famous guests. Movies like Song of the Nile, Streets of Laredo and Fort Defiance are a few filmed in New Mexico during this time.
Entering the hotel, you can feel the classic beauty of the past. I could imagine movie stars descending the double red carpet staircase like the Oscars.
There are reminders of the ‘old days’ around the lobby. I loved seeing in the shoe shine chair and elevator.
El Rancho Hotel was added to the National Registry of Historic Sites on January 14, 1988. Travelers stopped at El Rancho as they drove Route 66 looking for a new life out west.
Ascending to the second floor, I found the Hall of Fame.. With the walls full of autographed photos of actors and actresses, it is a who’s who of film and TV. All stars in their time. I enjoyed the memories of shows I forgot I watched as a child.
I found a hall of guest rooms at the top of the stairs. The brick walls have hand painted murals. Even the doors of the rooms have a historic look.
Did Bogey really sleep there?
Besides the hotel, they have a motel, restaurant and Indian store on the property. Regardless if you want to spend the night or stop in for a bite, the El Rancho Hotel is full of great memories and classic film history.
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