Santa Paula

"The Citrus Capital of the World"

Santa Paula, California, also called the Citrus Capital of the World, located in the heart of Southern California’s Santa Clara River Valley, is nestled among the citrus groves. Its beautiful weather, called the best in Ventura County, is the perfect backdrop for its cultural festivals, the Santa Paula Art and Photography Show in February, the Citrus Festival in July, and the Ghost Walk in October. The Santa Paula experience includes the Santa Paula Murals, a scenic Main Street, the vintage Santa Paula Airport, the historic California Oil Museum, famed Glen Tavern Inn, the Santa Paula Train Depot and Railroad Plaza Park, the oldest original train depot left in the County of Ventura and much more. Santa Paula also boasts the largest number of historic residential and commercial buildings in Ventura County. Discover the beauty of Santa Paula, California in the Heritage Valley.

Santa Paula is steeped in history. Wafting from its vintage brew are the heady fragrances of oil and citrus. Birthplace of the Union Oil Company of California. It has also been a center of the silent movie business when Gaston Melies held sway here with his Star Film Stock Company and home of the largest lemon ranch in the world.
Today Santa Paula has the greatest collection of vintage homes, commercial buildings, churches and schools in Southern California, and is the home of the Santa Paula Airport, Aviation Museum of Santa Paula, the California Oil Museum, and the Limoneira Company. Equally historic is the Santa Paula Cemetery which dates to the early 1870s and continues to serve the city. In addition, farms of the pioneers continue to produce under the skilled supervision of their farming descendants.

Santa Paula was the early film capital of California when Gaston Melies brought his Star Film Company to the city in 1911. The popular early silent film maker turned out more than a dozen one- and two-reelers with names like The Ghost of Sulphur Mountain and Oil Well Romance. By 1915 the action had shifted to Hollywood where early filmmakers like Jack Warner were making stars of actors named Chaplin, Mix, and Pickford.

Santa Paula Agricultural Museum

Located in Santa Paula, the Museum preserves and exhibits the region’s farming and ranching history and explores the present and future of the industry

Santa Paula early success as a film center was just a harbinger of its coming popularity with filmmakers. One of the epic miniseries of the 1970s, The Thorn Birds, starring Richard Chamberlain, was filmed in part in Santa Paula (look for the train station). In the ensuing years, many films and commercials have sought out locations in the city because of its authentic 50s downtown and the wide availability of varied historical settings. Many locales in the city date to the late 1800s and early 1900s. Santa Paula Airport, founded in 1930, still has that barnstorming look of the early days of aviation. The city’s 1887 Santa Paula Train Depot is one of the very few original Southern Pacific Railroad Depots serviced by antique trains today. The countryside surrounding Santa Paula evokes a bygone era with its orchards, ranches, and oilfields.

Santa Paula Filmography

The City of Santa Paula invites location scouts and production companies to explore the city for filming locations. Filming in Santa Paula is coordinated by the Santa Paula Chamber of Commerce and can be contacted at 805.525.5561. For more information:


  • Godzilla (2014)
  • Dear Secret Santa (2013)
  • Reaper (2013)
  • Bedtime Stories (2008)
  • Georgia Rule (2007)
  • Mr. Woodcock (2007)
  • Bubble Boy (2001)
  • For Love of the Game (1999)
  • Leave It to Beaver (1997)
  • Pure Luck (1991)
  • Welcome Home, Roxy
  • Carmichael (1990)
  • The Two Jakes (1990)
  • Disorganized Crime (1989)
  • The Philadelphia
  • Experiment (1984)
  • Carrie (1976)
  • The Ghost of Sulphur Mountain (1911)


  • True Blood (2014)
  • NCIS (2013)
  • Glee (2013)
  • The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles (1994)
  • The Rockford Files Season 3 Episode 6 “Coulter County Wildcat” (1976)


  • Ameriprise (2013)
  • Charles Schwab (2013)
  • Progressive Insurance (2013)
  • First 8 seconds of Flo Rides
  • First half of Tagalongs
  • Skechers (2013)
  • GOrun Ride 3
  • Hyundai (2013)
  • Seconds 17-21 of Assurance Connected Care
  • Budweiser (2010)
  • Super Bowl “People Bridge”

Music Videos

  • Dennis DeYoung “Desert Moon”