True Blood Filming Locations: The Gala at the Bush Library


True Blood Filming Locations


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Q. What is it supposed to be on the show?
    A. The George W. Bush Presidential Library.

Q. Where is it supposed to be on the show?
    A. In Dallas, Texas.

Q. When did we see it on the show?
    A. In Episode 5, of the final Season 7 ("Lost Cause").
    Eric & Pam are hunting for Sarah Newlin, who is responsible for infecting the Tru-Blood supply with the deadly Hep-V virus.

    After visiting the Dallas home of Sarah's sister (Amber Mills), Eric & Pam learn that Sarah is in Dallas, and that she will most likely show up at a Republican gala for Ted Cruz, being held at the George W. Bush Library.

    So, Eric & Pam dress up as conservative Texans (complete with Stetson) and show up at the gala.

    Sarah tracks down her mother in the restroom and tells her she's in trouble, that the Yakuza are after her, and asks for help in contacting Laura Bush.

    Eric glams Sarah's father, but he doesn't know where she is.

    Just them the Yakuza crash the party, bursting into the Library with automatic guns blazing.  They shoot up the room and kill Sarah's father.

    Sarah & her mother try to escape down a back hallway, but her mother is shot & killed by the gunmen.  And then the fleeing Sarah runs right into Eric.

    He is about to kill her, when he spots someone he hates even more: the Yakuza assassin who killed his girlfriend, long ago, in France.  He drops Sarah and slaughters the Yakuza.



The location:
The Bush Library Gala



In the next episode (#6), Eric & Pam are taken prisoner in that hallway by the head of the Yakonomo Corporation (the company which makes Tru-Blood), and are moved, in chains, to their headquarters.

Q. What is it actually, in real life?

    A. A museum and cultural center.

Q. Where can I find it in real life?

    A. They originally wanted to shoot this scene at the Chino Hills city hall, because it supposedly bore a strong resemblance to the actual Bush Library.  But politics got in the way when local opposition reared its head, and they pulled out of the deal (probably to the relief of local politicians, who would have had to make a call on the issue).

    Instead, they shot this scene at the Skirball Cultural Center, at 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd, Los Angeles.

    To be more precise, it was shot in the Ahmanson Ballroom, on the north side of the center's campus. The large room is officially named the Cotsen Auditorium and seems a popular spot for weddings and other celebratory events.

    The Skirball Center started out as a small museum, originally located near USC, dedicated to the Jewish experience & history.  It grew over the years, and in 1996 moved to this much larger venue.  In addition to the museum, the new campus also features a performing arts center, conference halls, classrooms, libraries, gardens, and a café.

    If you have ever driven the San Diego (405) Freeway as it cuts through the Santa Monica mountains between West L.A. and the Valley, you have driven right past the Skirball Center.  It's perched near the middle of the Sepulveda Pass, just south of Mulholland Drive.  It's the smaller of two notable museums located along this stretch of the 405, the other being the well-known Getty Center, which anchors the Pass's south end.

    ( You can read more about the Skirball Center at their website, here. )



Here is a photo of the Skirball Center:




Here is an interior shot of the center's Ahmanson Ballroom:
(which, you will notice, matches the screenshot at the top right of this page)



   Here's a Google StreetView of the Skirball center.

   Here is an aerial photo of the location.  And here is a map link.


Q. How the heck did you figure out where it was?

AI first visited the Skirball Museum back in the late 1980's, when it was a small museum tucked away near USC. I didn't immediately recognize the ballroom, dressed up, as it was to look like the Bush Library.  But when I took a closer look at the scene, I first noticed the unusual doors (through which the Yakuza enter), which looked familiar.

Then something else caught my eye on a second look, that I had missed the first time around.  At the very start of the gala scene, the camera pans down from a rather ornate silver ceiling ornament, to reveal the stage and the Bush poster.  That silver ceiling can be found in the Ahmanson Ballroom, as seen above.  Google easily turned up photos of the Skirball Center matching those items.









True Blood Filming Locations

Southern California Locations - Louisiana Locations - Clickable Map of All Locations

The True Blood screenshots from the show & all related characters & elements are trademarks of and © HBO.
All other photos & text are Copyright © 2016-Gary Wayne and may not be used without written permission.



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