Don't laugh - it's true. In 2002, William Shatner directed and starred in Groom Lake. He wrote the story (though not the screenplay), and gave himself a prominent role in order to avoid paying another actor (we all know Shatner would never steal the limelight, right?). He also agreed to "host videos that will be shown to Biosphere visitors, in lieu of paying a site fee for filming there" (Cohen, "Shatner Film Boosts Bisbee). When Shatner ran out of money, Shatner's wife bought pizza for the crew. It was not a high-end production.
Watch a clip from the movie - you'll see what I mean. This is not the quality of acting you'd associate with Star Trek, or even Invasion Iowa (which I enjoyed, BTW).
Groom Lake is a real place. Look, you can see it right here on a map.
Which is where my friend JP got to see a free screening of the film, complete with free popcorn.
Did she like the movie? I dunno, but as for the popcorn, she ate it up.
Cohen, Lorrie, and A.J. Flick. “Shatner Film Boosts Bisbee.” Tucson Citizen, 13 Dec. 2000.
“Groom Lake (Salt Flat).” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 29 May 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Groom_Lake_(salt_flat).
Locations in Tucson, 12 July 2017, www.locationstucson.com/western-streets/2017/7/12/filmed-in-arizona-groom-lake-2002.
Mikel. “Area 51.” Atlas Obscura, Atlas Obscura, 12 July 2009, www.atlasobscura.com/places/area-51.
Satellite photo of the real Groom Lake