The location: The Police Station / Town Hall.
Q. What is it supposed to be on the show?
The Police Station, at the Bon Temps
Q. Where is it supposed to be on the show?
In Bon Temps, Louisiana.
Q. When did we see it on the show?
A. We see the exterior for the first time in Episode 4 of Season One ("Escape From Dragon House"), when Jason Stackhouse gets arrested on suspicion of murdering Dawn (at her house), and is taken to the police station.
Tara, who has a crush on Jason, arrives to get him out of jail. In the scene, we see her walk into the Town Hall, and then see the lobby, where Tara talks the Sheriff into letting Jason go.
was also glimpsed in Episode 11 of Season One ("To Love is to Bury"),
when Maryann bails Tara out of jail (after running her off the road to
begin with). We see the building as they exit the police station,
and then poor Jason is led in (in handcuffs) again for another murder he
see the same building again in Episode 10 of Season Two ("New
World in My View"), when Maryann
And we see it once again in Episode 11 of Season Two (“Frenzy"), after the town of Bon Temps has gone completely crazy under the spell of Maryann.
In this scene, we see Jason & Detective Andy arrive in their car in front of the Town Hall, where they see a chubby housewife in her bra & panties running across the Town Hall lawn, out-of-control, trailing a roll of toilet paper behind her.
then go inside the building, where Jason deals with a possessed, sex-obsessed
receptionist, while Andy gathers guns for a misguided attempt to take back
their town from the dark forces that are driving it mad.
It's seen again in Season 3, Episode 4 ("9 Crimes"), when Jason blackmails acting-Sheriff Andy into to letting him work at the police station.
Q. What is it actually, in real life?
A city jail.
Q. Where can I find it in real life?
A. The Bon Temps police station is actually the Hawthorne Jail, run by the Hawthorne Police Department.
You'll find it at 4440 W. 126th Street, in Hawthorne, California.
That's at the southeast corner of 126th Street & Grevillea Ave. (The major intersection Hawthorne Blvd & El Segundo Blvd is a block to the southeast.)
I shot the photos below in 2009
might notice that the old fashioned black lampposts,
jail is just a few blocks from another "True Blood" location: Big
Patty's House of Pies.
city of Hawthorne isn't usually an unsafe place, but parts of it can get
a little edgy at times,
It also appeared as a police station in the 2009 movie "Post Grad", with Alexis Bledel.
Q. How the heck did you figure out where it was?
A. Since the scene with Jason & Andy takes place during the insane orgies caused by Maryann, which I knew that had filmed in Louisiana, my first assumption was that the Town Hall was probably somewhere in that state.
But when I took a closer look at the surrounding neighborhood, I realized that it looked more like a Southern California location. So I started looking for the building.
I had two main clues to go on. When Tara enters the lobby, if you look carefully you can see the number 4440 on the glass windows above the door. It didn't seem like something they'd want to fake, so I assumed it was a real address.
Since they had shot a scene in Long Beach for that same episode (at the Fangtasia bar), I started by checking out every obvious 4440 address in that city. But I couldn't find a match there.
Then I noticed that round, aqua blue water tower seen in the background (as Jason & Andy's car rounds the corner). That water tower looked familiar. I thought I had seen it before. So I did some googling for local water tower photos, and sure enough, it turned out to be the Hawthorne Water Tower.
After that, it was just a matter of locating the water tower on a map, then using aerial photos to look at every 4440 address nearby. I quickly spotted the green lawn in front of the Bon Temps Town Hall, at the southeast corner of 126th & Grevillea.
( What really surprised me was to see that it was just a couple of blocks away from Big Patty's House of Pies. I had just photographed that diner a few days before, and if I had known about the police station at the time, I could have saved myself an extra trip. )
The next day, I drove down to Hawthorne and shot the photos you see above.
True Blood screenshots from the show & all related characters &
elements are trademarks of and © HBO.
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