European Street 'A' also known as Colonial street 'A'
Originally known as West Royal Mail Street and also as European Street 'A', dates back to late 1937. Early views of this set can been seen in serials such as Captain Midnight and The Three Stooges. Situated between Blondie Street and Western Street "A", it's curved shape, Colonial/European style and surrounding a Church, gave it a perfect appeal to film from any angle and make it look like one was in a totally different town.
West Royal Mail street circa late 1940's
This portion of the set was not always as we know it. Originally there was no Church, but instead, an old fashioned water tower, used as part of the backdrop for the Western street. In the early days next to this particular area of the set, was a Train Depot/Cotton Exchange complete with railroad tracks, which can be seen in Captain Midnight from 1937 and an episode of The Three Stooges from that same year. However, the tracks were covered up most of the time with dirt so as to make it look like a regular street.
Most likely the set was remodeled after the fire of May 1950, as this portion of the street was rebuilt to what we all know. The Depot was rebuilt in to a two story mid century department store and the water tank was replaced with a typical early American Church. Parts of this street can be clearly seen in "The Wild One" from 1953 with Marlon Brando.
One of the main features of the Colonial set was of course the Church, which was build sometime in the mid 1940's. Build slighty lopsided with only one wing on the right side of the building, originally, mainly to obscure a remaining set on Colonial "B" street, the structure it self was about 40 foot tall, and could be seen peeking above the structures of Blondie street when standing in the Park.
Around the late 1950's a matching wing had been added to balance out the look of the structure and to make it more appealing to film.
By the mid 60's the Colonial set was widely used by the television shows being filmed on the Ranch. Shows like: "I Dream of Jeannie", "The Monkees", The Flying Nun", just to name a few well known ones. With its oval shaped design, the streets could be made to look like anything, from Middle Eastern, to European, to Colonial.
Unfortunately, disaster struck on the night of January 31, 1970, as, along with the Western Street, the Church and Colonial street B, were destroyed in a fire, that raged over the Ranch. "A" street was speared, although it had some smoke and water damage. The structures were quickly rebuild, but with modifications. The Church was redesigned and made flush and Colonial Street B was dressed down more to represent mid century America.
The set stayed the same throughout the next 2 decades and was used in numerous films and shows, but in May of 1996, it was decided to tear down the Colonial set to make room for more parking deemed needed at the Ranch. According to sources, the final appearance of the Colonial/European set was in the Batman& Robin movie. Screen caps will be posted when found.
These few images below are some of the last ever taken, before it was torn down . Courtesy of Tim.