Due to ruinous budget overruns by the makers of the Elizabeth Taylor / Richard Burton epic Cleopatra, 20th Century Fox was almost bankrupt and was forced to sell off most of its backlot to developers planning the new business community of Century City. In late 1961, the sets used to film hundreds of Fox westerns and other films were bulldozed to make room for high-rise office buildings and hotels. Where the likes of Tyrone Power and Gary Cooper once faced off on a dusty small town thoroughfare, two bulldozer operators reenact a familiar scene before getting to work ripping down a piece of movie history.
Two years later, Cleopatra, initially budgeted at $2 million, was released in theaters and became the top grossing film of the year raking in $26 million at the box office. Unfortunately, by that time, Fox had spent $44 million on the film.
Images from the LIFE photo archive hosted by Google