Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures
Acton Scenes in "The Silencers"
Columbia Pictures 1966

Acton's red brick hotel is the "San Juan Motel" and the Texaco service station at the old Acton Grocery is "Joe's Garage" in "The Silencers" (Columbia Pictures 1966) starring Dean Martin and Stella Stevens.

Former Acton resident Don Milburn said (2019): "The studio gave my dad $100 (if my memory is correct) to sit all night in the custom car that Dean Martin used in the movie. That was big money then. The studio bigwigs were afraid someone might mess with it. I remember looking in the car, and there was a bar and a stereo record player in it."

Patricia Driscoll-Hicks said (2019): "My family moved to Acton in 1957. Dean Martin was very nice to all the kids. He let us sit on the stairs of his bus."

Judy Escoto said (2019): "That was fun watching them film The Silencers. Dean Martin even let my sister Rose sit inside his trailer, and I think he sang a song to her!"

Keith Brown said (2019): "Many of us kids were on the roof of the gas station, watching the film from up there."

"The Silencers" was the first of four movies starring Dean Martin as agent Matt Helm. They were spoofs on James Bond pictures. In "The Silencers," Helm must stop an evil organization, "Big O" (the Bureau for International Government and Order), from blowing up the United States' nuclear arsenal and irradiating half the country. In the 4-minute Acton sequence, Helm and Gail Hendricks (Stevens) are pursued by Big O's henchmen.

The red brick hotel at the northwest corner of Crown Valley Road and (today's) Smith Avenue was built on the site of the original Acton Hotel, which burned down in 1945. The red brick hotel was no longer a hotel when it was destroyed in the 1971 Sylmar-San Fernando earthquake. The second floor collapsed.

As of 2019, the location of the Texaco service station at the southeast corner of the intersection is a Bank of America branch.

Detail from 1959 aerial view of Acton. Click to enlarge. (Layered version on file.)

Screenshots: Click to enlarge.

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