By Josh Saunders
Incredible footage reveals ‘Hollywood in the Desert’ where hundreds of blockbusters including Game of Thrones, Gladiator and The Mummy were shot.
Atlas Studios was used in countless hit films and TV shows after opening in 1983 in Ouarzazete, Morocco including Ben Hur, Lawrence of Arabia and The Grand Tour.
Plenty of fake blood has been spilled in the temples and training grounds of this now abandoned movie set.
Photographer Bob Thissen, 31, discovered the faded glamour of the site known as ‘Hollywood in the Desert’ earlier this month.
Bob from Heerlen, the Netherlands, said: “It was cool to find such a big movie set abandoned and left alone in the desert.
“It could easily become a part of a tour, we could simply walk in and find ourselves in a Greek environment.
“It looked like there had been multiple shoots, because the set were slightly different compared to the old pictures I had found – as there was an extra wall built.
“But it clearly wasn’t used for a long time, a part of the set was already collapsed and another part was close to collapsing.
“Pillars are skewed and some tiles are missing, decay happens fast, because it’s not an actual building but an ‘as cheap as possible’ made decor.”
Bob who has been an urban explorer, known as urbexing, for over ten years, discovered the sites on Google Earth and was uncertain whether they’d still be standing.
He said: “Most movie sets are located near the active studios and can be visited legally, but some are remote, abandoned and decayed.
“I found a few outside pictures of this place and for what i could see it looked really nice.
“I tried my luck and went there, hoping it was abandoned, forgotten and not demolished.”
Several miles off-road into the desert, Bob discovered the ‘forgotten sets’ that had been abandoned and documented his finds.
Bob said: “To my surprise there was also a small village next to the Greek Temple, there you could find some houses, big walls with large gates and a bath house.
“The dome of the bath house was already collapsed and the interior was full of pigeon poo which really gave it an abandoned look.
“I also found a chapel or throne-like room at the set, there was a painting that looks like The Eye of Sauron from Lord of the Rings but it was made for either another movie or just for fun.
“For me the big Greek temple and the bath house were the highlights of the location.”
To see more of Bob’s work visit here.
Some of the productions filmed at Atlas Studios
• Lawrence of Arabia
• The Jewel of the Nile
• The Living Daylights
• The Mummy
• Kingdom of Heaven
• Asterix & Obelix: Mission Cleopatra
• Game of Thrones
• The Amazing Race 10
• The Grand Tour
• Ben Hur
• Pope Joan
• The Jewel of the Nile