Seeing Stars: Where the Movies Were Shot (on Location)
The late 1990's
of TV Shows,
Made-for-TV Movies & Music Videos.
- The TV series "PROVIDENCE"
was supposed to be filmed in Rhode Island. Although quite a few establishing
views were taken in the real Providence, many of the seaside shots are
actually filmed right here in Southern California, at Ports
O'Call Village, a Cape Cod-themed shopping center that borders
the main channel of the Los Angeles Harbor, at Berth
76 in San Pedro. Often, when you see Sydney and her dad sailing
past what appears to be a charming New England fishing village, that's
actually Ports O'Call. Most of the shooting there takes place down at the
south end of the village, in a (now mostly empty) area known as Whaler's
Bar & Grill", a popular hangout on "Providence"
(where Sydney's brother worked), was actually a San Pedro bar known as
"The Whale & Ale",
an authentic British pub, which you can find at 327 W. 7th Street,
less than a mile northwest of Ports O'Call, in San Pedro.
- The home where
Sydney and the Hansen family live actually exists in two different
places. The original house, used for exterior shots when the TV series
started, was actually a private home in Providence, RI (on the corner
of Taber Street & Freeman Parkway, on the city's East Side). Later,
though, they built a replica of that house on the back lot of Universal
Studios Hollywood, where the show was filmed. You may be able
to see the home on the studio's tram tour.
- The TV series "POPULAR"
chronicled the teenage social politics at the fictional 'Kennedy High'.
But the campus scenes were actually shot at Palisades High School,
located at 15777 Bowdoin St., in the
wealthy seaside community of Pacific Palisades. (Quite a few other movies
and TV commercials have also been shot on this campus.)
- Likewise, the high school episodes of the hot TV
'90-s series "BEVERLY HILLS 90210"
weren't filmed at Beverly Hills High,
as you might expect. Instead, the exterior scenes were shot at the
very same Torrance High (at 2200
W. Carson Street) in Torrance, where they filmed "Buffy", a middle-class
town far removed from the glitz of Beverly Hills.
(The new 2009 remake, "90210", uses the same high school.)
- And once the cast of "BEVERLY
HILLS 90210" graduated from high school to the campus of
"California University," the shooting site moved to the actual
campus of Occidental College, located
between Pasadena and Glendale (at 1600 Campus Road), in the L.A. suburb
of Eagle Rock. (They also filmed the 1995 movie "CLUELESS"
- Also, the 'Walsh' house from "BEVERLY
HILLS 90210," where 'Brenda and Brandon' lived. (Shannen Doherty
and Jason Priestley) is actually
1675 E. Altadena Drive, in Altadena
(just north of Pasadena.) You'll find the house about seven blocks east
of Lake Avenue, and just before Tanople Drive. (It's only a few blocks
from the "7th Heaven" home.)
- The arched doorway to the "90210" house
looks a bit like the house used as the Lawrence family home in the popular
1970's series, "FAMILY",
starring Kristy McNichol, Meredith Baxter
and Gary Frank, but obviously it's
not the same house.
The actual "Family" house is located at
1230 Milan Ave, in South
Pasadena, in the same general vicinity (the San Gabriel Valley),
but about seven miles south of Altadena.
- Speaking of "BEVERLY HILLS 90210,"
remember the beachfront apartment where Donna (Tori
Spelling), Kelly (Jennie Garth)
and David (Brian Austin Green) lived?
You'll find the pale-blue, three story building on the west side Hermosa
Beach Strand (a popular seaside path running parallel to the coastline
in that beach town), near the Manhattan Beach border. It gets a lot of
attention from the cyclists and skaters passing by on hot summer days.
The exact address is 3500 The Strand,
in Hermosa Beach. It's at the very end of 35th Street, facing the beach.
(Another bit of trivia: the same house was featured
in the 1988 movie, "My Stepmother is
an Alien," a comedy starring Kim
Basinger and Dan
Akyroyd.You'll spot the house in the scene where Kim lands her
spaceship on the beach and runs into a party at the house.)
- Remember the bar called "Shooters" where
the gang hung out on TV's "MELROSE PLACE?"
Well, it's actually a small restaurant/lounge called "Fellini's,"
and it's located on Melrose. 6810 Melrose
Avenue, to be precise, just east of La Brea, in Hollywood.
- Meanwhile, you can find the real apartment building
which was at the center of TV's "MELROSE PLACE"
in the humble Los Feliz area of Los Angeles, at 4616
Greenwood Place (just east of Vermont Ave., four blocks north
of Franklin Ave.) It's not far from ABC Television
- Remember the episode of "THE X-FILES,"
where Mulder & Scully time-travel back to Nazi Germany while on an
ocean liner? (It's also the episode where they first kissed.) Well, that
episode (like so many other movies and TV shows) was filmed aboard
the ocean liner the Queen Mary, now
permanently docked in Long Beach, California. [Buy
- If you're a Star Trek
fan, you may remember a 1998 episode of "STAR TREK:
VOYAGER" titled "In the Flesh," where
the crew discovers a simulation of Earth, only to learn that the "humans"
there are really Species 8472. The tranquil garden which was supposed
to be Star Fleet Headquarters in San Francisco was actually the
Japanese Garden in Van Nuys, CA (in the San Fernando
"lab" and garden are part of the Donald Tillman
water reclamation plant (at 6100 Woodley Avenue).
The same garden was also featured in an episode of TV's "STAR TREK:
DEEP SPACE NINE," "Homefront", where the earth was infiltrated by Dominion
And it was used as the Star Fleet Academy campus in "The First
Duty" episode of "STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION,"
wherein cadet Wesley Crusher gets into serious trouble at the Academy.
(In that episode, the Golden Gate Bridge was inserted into the skyline
behind the garden.) Tours of the garden are available to the public.
- In between Santa Monica and Malibu, , where Temsecal
Canyon Road meets Pacific Coast Highway, is Will
Rogers State Beach and its lifeguard tower, where they shot
the popular TV series "BAYWATCH"
(before they moved the show to Hawaii). Scenes from the show were also
shot up and down the coast, on local beaches from Long Beach to Malibu.
- Speaking of beaches, if you watched the NBC soap
opera "SUNSET BEACH"
in the late 1990's, you may be surprised to learn that even though there
is an actual town called Sunset Beach in Southern California, the show's
beach scenes aren't shot there. Instead, they're shot at neighboring Seal
Beach (just one town to the north of Sunset Beach, and just
south of Long Beach.) The producers loved the small town atmosphere of
the town's quaint Main Street.
The familiar "Sunset Beach" pier (where legend has it
that two people who meet there will fall in love) is actually the Seal
Beach Pier, located at the ocean end of Main Street.
* Locations marked by an asterisk (*) may be located
in areas with high crime rates.
Exercise reasonable caution.
For information about watching TV sitcoms
being taped live in the studio, see the separate page about getting tickets
to live TV tapings.
for something in particular? Search the Seeing-Stars website!