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California ‘ghost town’ featured in Christopher Nolan’s Tenet sells for £18m

Tenet featured a scene in Eagle Mountain   (Melinda Sue Gordon / Warner Bros Entertainment via AP)
Tenet featured a scene in Eagle Mountain (Melinda Sue Gordon / Warner Bros Entertainment via AP)

A California town that has been deserted for 40 years, and featured in Christopher Nolan film Tenet, has been bought for £18 million.

It has been reported this week that a mystery buyer has purchased the entirety of Eagle Mountain, which sits at the edge of the Joshua Tree National Park in the west of the US.

The little-known Ecology Mountain Holdings bought the town from Eagle Mountain Acquisition. The buyer is reportedly behind the haulage firm Ecology Transportation Services, although it has not been said how they will use the town.

Although it became a site of interest to Hollywood, with 2020 film Tenet’s climax being shot there, it has been all but abandoned since 1983.

History of Eagle Mountain

Eagle Mountain as seen from Google Street View (Google Maps)
Eagle Mountain as seen from Google Street View (Google Maps)

Eagle Mountain started life as a company town built for workers of Kaiser Steel in 1948.

For three decades, the town thrived and the community was noted for its record-breaking productivity.

But, towards the end of the Seventies, Eagle Mountain became a victim of its success, as workers exhausted what was on offer.

By November 1981, the mine began to be phased out and the town has been left desolate since 1983, with all of the once-4,000 residents leaving.

Since then, a low-security prison project was ceased after a riot in 2003 led to the death of two inmates. The café and bowling alley, as well as some other buildings in Eagle Mountain, have been maintained, under the supervision of a few foremen.

Perhaps, with this deal, the fortunes of this once-prosperous desert town could be about to change. Another haulage company bought the town Desert Center, which is 12 miles away, in 2021. It was reported at the time that truck mogul Balwinder Wraich said: “There is no food for 40 miles. My goal is to get something big in the next two years. It’s going to help the community.”