Oct 012012
Superman highschool 2012

Smallville High School has changed very little over the years and from the 1970s when the Superman movie was filmed here to today one would be hard pressed to find many differences. See for yourself. The big field has been altered a bit and the school grounds have a new sidewalk and playground, but what we see today is remarkably close to what’s seen in the movie. The only thing missing in our shots is a young Clark Kent (in his pre-Superman days), the other students and all their nice classic cars. Love that Studebaker!

This faculty, officially the Baron’s Consolidated School in Barons Alberta, is currently being used as as alternative Mennonite school – that is according to the Palliser School Board, who oversees this location. Prior to that it was home to grades one through twelve and served in that aspect for some seventy years. The building was constructed in 1930 and has a newer annex of the west side that is not seen in our pictures.

The school building and the grounds are kept in impeccable condition from what we could see. Someone still takes pride in the old building and that is fantastic.

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Of the elevators seen in the movie, only one remains. It’s the smallest of the bunch, the small grey one that site between the two larger orange ones. This view is now blocked by bushes. The orange elevators in the movie by the way are labelled for the Pioneer Grain Company – you can tell by the colour – a one time big player in the Canadian grain industry. I have seen later photos of these same structures and some at least were later labelled Alberta Wheat Pool and painted the company’s light blue/green motif. This change is not so odd, since elevators are sold and acquired through mergers and so on.

The last of these elevators, save for that grey one, were torn down only recently and this author has seen pictures from as late as 2011 showing most (or some) of them still standing.

Also shown is a then and now series taken at the railway crossing where Clark jumps in front of a train and then speeds away down a dusty road. The cross buck shown in the movie hints of its Canadian location – US crossings typically say “Railroad” instead of “Railway” as they do here. For us the cross buck seen has been replaced and neither a train nor Clark Kent showed up, but a truck speeding away gave us the dust we needed to complete the one shot.

My angles were off a bit, but I think I lined them up pretty well anyway.

Barons is a small town just north west of Lethbridge Alberta and while it was the location for the high schools scenes, other parts of Alberta filled in for the farm and cemetery scenes. The former can be seen at a link below and they show the Kent homestead where Clark Kent grew up while going to the school here. Another filming location is the graveyard scene where Mr. Kent get buried, an the link to it is below.

All these scenes were meant to portray Kansas USA and in comparing them to that state, I think our province did a good job of filling in for it.

Images from the movie are copyright Warner Brothers.

To see the Kent farmhouse seen in the movie, follow this link…
Superman 1978 Kent farmhouse – then and now.

To see the cemetery scenes in the movie, click below…
Superman 1978 cemetery scenes – then and now.

To see the Clark Kent’s high school in the 1983 movie Superman 3, click this link…
Superman 3 then and now – Smallville.

Date of adventure: September 2012.
Location: Southern Alberta.

Superman 1978 high school

The Superman high school 1978.

Superman highschool 2012

The Superman high school 2012.


Superman highschool field

The high school field – the grey elevator still stands.

Highs shoool field Superman

The same location as above. The grey elevator is behind the bushes.


Clark Kent Superman 1978

Clark Kent and a nice Studebaker.

Clark Kent high school

Not much has changed in this angle and only the playground differs.


Clark Kent train 1978

Clark just misses a train.

Clark Kent train crossing

The same crossing thirty five years later.


Clark Kent running

1978 – Clark Kent speeds away.

Clark Kent 1978 running

2012 – a truck speeds away.


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12 Comments on "Superman 1978 highschool – then and now"

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Nathan M
Nathan M

Wrong, wrong, wrong! Superman 1 was filmed in my home state of Kansas. I have seen the places where they filmed it.


Scot Wiley
Scot Wiley

I attended grades 1 through 4 in the school in the Barons, Alberta (1970 – 1974). My father was the principal. The movie was indeed filmed there. As it happens I now live in Kansas, albeit not Smallville! I used to impress my kids by telling them I went to school with Superman and would show them pics of me at the school and match them up to scenes from the movie.

old barons resident
old barons resident

That was the chill out spot for all the stoner kids when I lived there. There were like 6 teenagers total in the whole town.

Dave Cookson
Dave Cookson

I am the current caretaker of the Barons School and have been for 4 years. Palliser Regional is correct in that this school is in great shape and is maintained very well.
I claim to have the job to clean the prettiest school in their division, but I am a bit bias.
The tile floors that creak when walking through an older empty school give evidence of character and warmth, you can’t get that from the concrete and steel structures of today.

Coral Grundberg
Coral Grundberg

I went to school there in grade 7. My mom told me all about the school being used for the movie.
When I went there it only had kindergarten to grade 8.
I like the history of this school.


Coming up on 40 years since the release of the movie and as an Albertan, I can’t help but feel nostalgic for the Smallville that was created so close to where I grew up – making me feel a little more “Super” throughout my whole life. Thank you so much for exploring and documenting this great piece of memorabilia (as well as the Kent farm post)! Amazing too to see the people who have also found your post… well done, indeed! I hope one day to go back home and visit these spots for myself. 🙂