TV Exterior Locations
Many of the TV locations I've written
about are in Los Angeles, and impersonate other locales.
Some TV shows actually shoot "establishing" shots in the
cities and towns that the show is supposed to take place in.
"The Mary Tyler Show " is one. In 1970 the producers of MTM
found a house that would become known as Mary's for decades to
come. The house belongs to a college professor that
signed away his privacy thinking that the footage of his house was to be
used for educational TV related to architecture.
the fans found out where Mary's house was located they flocked (and
continue to flock) to his front yard to have their picture taken in
front of Mary Richard's apartment. Fans have gone so far as to
ring his bell and ask if Mary or Phyllis are home. Each season
Mary and the crew would fly to Minneapolis to film new establishing
shots. In 1975 the professor's contract was up, and not
surprisingly he refused to sign again. Without being able to shoot
new footage, it was decided Mary would move to a new
apartment. Most of us will always consider Mary's only address the
big white building with the arched windows from the first 122 episodes.
TV historians stop here and let you figure the address out for
yourself, not Morty. The next time you find yourself with a
free afternoon in Minneapolis, stop by 2104 Kenwood Parkway
on the corner of W. 21st Street. The house is no longer
white, it has been painted a brownish-gold color.
Mary Richards lived in a nice
area, dotted with lakes, the one she walks by in the opening
credits is Lake of the Isles, it's about two blocks west of the
house. It's an interesting lake, as it has one real island
in the middle of it. A second island is really a peninsula
connected by a thin strip of land. The lake and house are
located between Route 394 and Route 34 (Lyndale Avenue). I'm
surprised Mary could sleep at night, the Burlington-Northern
Railroad is about a block away, and the mighty Mississippi is
about 2 miles from Mary's house. Remember: If you go,
Rhoda and Mary are gone, Phyllis isn't the landlady, and the
real owner doesn't like tourists.
to visit "Fantasy Island?" It's not out of this
world, it's not even out of the country. Unlike Mary's
house, the owners of the "Fantasy Island" property would
be pleased to have you stop by. Fantasy Island and over one
hundred other movies and TV shows have been filmed at the 127 acre Los
Angeles State and County Arboretum, 301 N. Baldwin Avenue Los Angeles,
CA. The Queen Anne cottage used in the opening sequences is
located beside the lagoon in the historical area of the park. The
seaplane, which brought guests to the island was moved to the
arboretum lagoon by a truck and lowered into the water by a crane.
Other Shows to use this locale include: Hart to Hart,
Dynasty, Love Boat, Knots Landing and Dallas.
to visit the farms shown in the opening credits of "Green
Acres?" Tough luck, you can't. The opening
sequence was filmed from a car and a plane in the Thousand Oaks area of
California, and they're all gone. The location is now
populated by condominiums, strip malls, apartments and business
warehouses. So much for "land spreadin' out so far and wide."
"Growing Pains" was set in
the suburbs of Long Island New York. Mike (Kirk Cameron) and Carol
(Tracey Gold) attended Thomas E. Dewey High School. It must have
been a hell of a bus ride, the school is really located in the Los Feliz
area of Los Angeles. The exterior shots were filmed at John
Marshall High School at 3101 Griffith Park Blvd. John
Marshall High was also the location for a prom scene in Highway to
Heaven, produced, directed, written and starring the late Michael
Landon. This popular filming location has also been used in L.A.
Law, and Uncle Buck. The school overlooks the Walt Disney studios
on Tracy Street, West of the Golden State Freeway.
Where can you get the best medical
care with the most drama? General Hospital. It didn't take
much imagination to name the hospital in the long running daytime
soap. The real name of the hospital was General Hospital.
When the series began in 1963, establishing shots and the opening
sequence was filmed at the entrance that faces State Street at 1200
North. Since then the name of the hospital was changed to
"Los Angeles County / University of Southern California Medical
Center" (is this progress, or what. . .) And exterior shots are
filmed at the entrance on Zonal Avenue and State Street.
Stop in and ask for Dr. Tony Jones.
a piece of trivia I'm surprised Nick at Nite hasn't picked up on: In a
famous 1952 "I Love Lucy" episode, Lucy (Lucille Ball) and
Ethel (Vivian Vance) take a bus tour of the stars homes while staying in
Hollywood. When the bus stops at Richard Widmark's home,
Lucy's favorite movie star, she asks the bus driver to let her off the
bus to pick a grapefruit. In trying to get the grapefruit Lucy
falls over the wall and gets trapped on Widmark's property. So
here's the trivia: The house the bus pulls up to is really the home of
Lucy and Desi Arnaz. You get to see a few good shots of Lucy's
former home at 1000 N. Roxbury Drive in Beverly Hill before the action
switches an indoor set with a duplicate of the real wall.
If you watch "I Dream of Jeannie,"
you probably know that Dr. Bellows' house is the same house from
"Bewitched", but did you know that Major Nelson's house is the
same house Mr. Wilson lived in on "Dennis the
Menace." While we're on the subject of houses, The
house to the left to the "Bewitched" house was also home
to the Baxters on "Hazel," and the Lawrence family on
"Gidget." The houses were part of the ranch at it
was originally Columbia's (and official home of Screen Gems) and
is today the Warner Brother Lot.
If you'd like to know more about it, visit www.1164.com.
This is a terrific site reviewed on my links
lake Opie and Andy went fishing at in the opening credits of "The
Andy Griffith Show?" If you would like to skip stones on
Myer's Lake, don't head for North Carolina. The fishin' hole is
really located in the Franklin Canyon area of Los Angeles, just north of
Beverly Hills. Head south on Franklin Canyon Drive at Mulholland Drive).
A sign leading to the lake says that the road ends in 800 feet, but it
doesn't. Just follow the road to a secluded park/nature area. The area
has become a little grown over, but it's still recognizable.
to visit the M*A*S*H 4077th? "M*A*S*H" was shot on
the Fox backlot in the Santa Monica Mountains. Just before
the last season, Fox donated the land to the State of
California. They made it a state park, Malibu Creek
State Park. MCSP is in Calabasas, north of Los Angeles. Take
the Ventura Freeway north to Las Virgenes Road/Malibu Canyon
Road. This is about 15 miles from the intersection of the
Ventura Freeway with the San Diego Freeway. Exit and turn
left. Go about six miles past the stop light at Mullholland
Highway. About a quarter of a mile further is the entrance to the park
(on the right).
At the site, all you should expect to
find are a burned out ambulance and jeep and a post marking the
location. If you know the show, you should be able to figure out where
the chopper pad was. It's about a 2 or 3 mile hike in from the
parking lot. You can also get there by taking the Pacific Coast
Highway to Malibu Canyon Road (which is where Pepperdine University is
located). Turn inland and go about 5 miles. The entrance will be on your
left. If you come to the stoplight at Mulholland, you've gone too
far. Remember that summer is fire season, and if it gets very dry,
the rangers may close the park to visitors because of the danger of
fires. The fire in the last episode of "M*A*S*H*" was
real; they had to add it to the storyline. The fire forced
them to wrap up shooting a little sooner than they had planned.
You can check with the rangers by phone at (818) 880-0367 before you
make the trek.
you'd like to pay a call on Balki Bartokomous (Bronson Pinchot) and
Cousin Larry Appletoen (Mark Linn-Baker)? In the first two seasons
of "Perfect Strangers," Larry & Balki worked
at the Ritz Discount Store (the store with a monthly going out of
business sale) and lived in an apartment above. Even though they
changed jobs, the duo remained tenants of the third floor Chicago
apartment, except it was really located on the Southern fringe of
downtown Los Angeles. The Ritz Discount Store was really
Goldstone's Imports and their apartment is really the Hotel Santa Rita
(above Goldstones), The four story, brick building is located east
of the Harbor Freeway (110) and North of the Santa Monica Freeway (10)
at 1100 South Main Street.