Riverdale Filming Locations

Since my website is a guide to Hollywood & Los Angeles, I don't normally try to find the locations
of shows filmed outside of Southern California. But I do occasionally make an exception.

And since I was interested to see what the WB would do with the classic Archie comic book characters,
I watched the pilot for Riverdale, which made me curious enough to track down its filming locations.


Page 1 (of 2)



On this first page, we'll take a look at the show's key locations, including the characters' houses,
and then,  on the second page, we'll move on to analyze the 30-second tour of the town that opens the
first episode, and identify all of the locations briefly glimpsed in that short video introduction to Riverdale.





The Town of Riverdale

I already knew that the show was being filmed up in Canada, in Vancouver, British Columbia
(which is on the west coast, just above the states of Washington and Oregon.)

The challenge was finding each of the show's major locations in the Vancouver region.

But surprisingly, the most difficult location to find was the opening shot of Riverdale,
this aerial view of a small town with a white church at the end of its main street:


Riverdale intro video>


Ironically, this establishing aerial view of the town turned out to be
the only scene that was NOT shot in Canada. Go figure,

At first, I naturally assumed that the town had to be somewhere in the Vancouver area,
So I spent days pouring over Google Earth, trying to pinpoint it there.

But eventually I recognized that it simply wasn't anywhere near Vancouver.

So I switched my search to the U.S., and eventually found it there.


That aerial view of Riverdale turns out to be a view of

Harbor Springs, Michigan,

small American town of just 1,200, located not by a river, but by a Great Lake.

As you might expect, that main street you see is called Main Street.

The camera is looking west down that Main Street towards the white church,
which is a Catholic church named  "
Holy Childhood of Jesus Church",
located at
150 W. Main St, in Harbor Springs.

The cove/marina seen to the left in that aerial photo is not the ocean,
but rather Little Traverse Bay, part of upper
Lake Michigan.

The forested peninsula seen near the sheltered cove is named
Harbor Point.



Here is a matching
Google StreetView of the town's Main Street and the white church.





And here's another aerial video of the town.






Archie's House

On the show, this is the home of Archie Andrews and his father.
 

Archie's house


You'll find this yellow house at 2037 E. 3rd Avenue,
in the Grandview-Woodland neighborhood of British Columbia.


[Warning: This is a private home. Do not trespass on their property,
knock on their door, or do anything else that might disturb the residents.]



Here is a matching Google StreetView of the house.











Betty's House

On the show, this is the home of Betty Cooper and her parents.

This was another challenge to find.

At first, I assumed it would be easy to find, since the house number (111) is right there
to the left of the door. It seemed like it would be a simple matter of checking all the
houses with the number 111,in the central Vancouver area near Archie's house.

Now that task, by itself, was time-consuming, because it turns out there are a lot of houses
in central Vancouver that are located on a 100 block. But after I looked at all of them,
Betty's house was still nowhere to be found.

Bettys House

Betty is supposed to be "the girl next door", but for a girl-next-door, she lives
a surprisingly long way from Archie's house.

It turns out her house wasn't in central Vancouver.  Instead, it was way out in New Westminster,
where, if you followed Vancouver's address-numbering sequence,
the house number should have been in the 9000 range.

But New Westminster has its own numbering system, so despite the fact that it's
miles away from Archie's house, the numbers suddenly revert to the 100s.

Once I realized that, finding Betty's house was relatively easy.
It was on one of the first streets that I looked at in New Westminster.
 
Betty's house is at 111 Queens Avenue, in New Westminster, B.C.


[Warning: This is a private home. Do not trespass on their property,
knock on their door, or do anything else that might disturb the residents.]



Here is a matching
Google StreetView of the house.










Veronica's home at 'The Pembrooke'

On the show, Veronica Lodge and her mother are staying at
The Pembrooke, a posh apartment building in Riverdale.

According to Mrs. Lodge, "It's the only piece of property
in my name, and not your father's."

 
Veronicas Home

This stately building is real, not a studio set. It started out in 1907 as a bank,
first known as the B.C. Permanent & Loan Company, and later as the Bank of Canada.

Which explains why, today, it's now known as "The Permanent".

It is now a restored event venue, popular for weddings, corporate galas, etc.

The heavy bank vault door still remains as a feature in the main hall (although I'm sure
Riverdale will avoid showing it, since the building is supposed to be apartments on the show.

You'll find it at 330 West Pender Street, in downtown Vancouver, B.C.

( You can read more about it at www.thepermanent.ca )



Here is a matching
Google StreetView of the building.










Pop Tate's Chock'lit Shoppe


On the show (as in the comics) this restaurant is the local hangout for Riverdale's teens.

But in Archie comics, the Chock'lit Shoppe is a classic, old-fashioned soda parlor, the kind
of place you might find on Disneyland's Main Street USA, or on TV's Happy Days.

On the show, it's more of a down-to-earth diner.

Pop Tate's Chock'lit Shoppe

In real life, this is an actual restaurant, known as Rocko's Family Diner.
You'll find it at 32786 Lougheed Highway, in Mission, British Columbia.

It opened back in 1956 as the "Hi-Lite Burger Bar", and became "Rocko's" in the '80s.

According to their website, the diner is popular as a filming spot, and was used as a location
in "Percy Jackson the Lightning Thief", "The Tortured" and "Killer Amongst Us".

Archie and his friends would have a hard time walking there, though
since it's actually about 35 miles southeast of Archie's house.

(As is common practice in TV production, when they know they're going to use
a location regularly, after shooting the pilot's scenes at the diner,
they recreated it as a set at the studio.)



Here is a matching
Google StreetView of the diner.

 








Riverdale High School
 
On the show, this is the high school attended by Archie and his friends.

Riverdale High School

In real life, the actual school you see above is about six miles east of Archie's house.

It's
Lord Byng Secondary School at 3939 W. 16th Ave, in Vancouver, B.C.

The "Back to School Dance" scenes, in the pilot, were also shot here at Lord Byng.



Here is a matching
Google StreetView of the school:




However, Riverdale also filmed scenes at a number of other schools besides Lord Byng,
including John Oliver Secondary School (where they shot the gym scenes where
Betty & Veronica try out for cheerleading), at Point Grey Secondary School,
in Kerrisdale (where they filmed the high school hallway scenes), and at
Burnaby Mountain Secondary School, in Burnaby.

So "Riverdale High" is actually a synthesis of all four of those Vancouver schools.






The School Football Field

This athletic field is seen in a scene where Archie is seen working out with the school
football team, when the coach attempts to recruit him to play varsity football.
It's also where Betty & Veronica ask him to the dance.


The Football Field

This is the football field behind Point Grey Secondary School,
at 5350 East Blvd, Vancouver, B.C.

However, it appears that the football field doesn't belong to the school,
but rather is part of the next-door Kerrisdale Park, at 5670 East Blvd, Vancouver, B.C.



Here is a matching Google StreetView of the football field.





( However, later, in Episode 5, they filmed another football workout scene,
at the football field at Bear Creek Park, at 13820 88 Ave, in Surrey, B.C. )

You can partially see the Bear Creek field in this
StreetView.)






Jughead's Drive-In Theatre

On the show (unlike in the comics) Jughead Jones is apparently living out of an old
drive-in theatre in Riverdale. In a later episode, he's forced to leave when (despite
his best efforts to preserve it) the old theatre is set to be torn down.

Jughead's Drive-In Theatre

In real life, this is an actual theatre: the Twilight Drive-In Theatre,
at 3350 260 Street,  in Aldergrove / Langley, B.C.

At a time when most drive-in theatres are long gone, believe it or not,
the Twilight Drive-In is still going strong. In fact, it's the only drive-in theatre
still operating in British Columbia.

You'll find it about 30 miles southeast of downtown Vancouver,
and about 10 miles south of several other Langley locations
that we'll see later.



Here is a matching Google StreetView of the drive-in.










Thornhill: The Blossom Family Mansion

On the show, this is the spooky home of the Blossom Twins

We first see it in Episode 5, when they hold a memorial service
there for Cheryl's murdered twin, Jason Blossom.

Thornhill: The Blossom Family Mansion

Fortunately for me (in trying to track down this location), there aren't that many
big mansions in Vancouver, especially ones available for filming.

Some people have wrongly speculated that this may be
the Cecil Green Park House, but it's not.

This (very real) mansion is the Copper Stone mansion,
at 21122  12 Ave, in Langley, B.C.

The estate contains 20 acres, with the main house boasting 17,000 square feet.
It has shown up before on the WB, in Supernatural.

[Warning: This is a private home. Do not trespass on their property,
knock on their door, or do anything else that might disturb the residents.]




Here is a matching Google Earth aerial view of the house.






Sisters of Quiet Mercy - Home for Troubled Youths:



In Episode 6, Betty & Jughead go to what is supposed to be the "Sisters of Quiet Mercy -
Home for Troubled Youths
" to check up on Betty's sister, Polly, whoh as been confined there.

It turns out Pollis is  pregnant by Jason Blossom, and was planning to run away with him
on July 4, the day he was murdered. She apparently doesn't know that he's dead.

In real life, this is Riverview Hospital, at 2601 Lougheed Highway, in Coquitlam, B.C.

Note that this is Riverview not Riverdale. It is is right next to the Coquitlam River.
(That's pronounced Co-QUIT-lum.)


The religious statue and the sign out front were added for the production.

It seems that the hospital was once a mental asylum, which opened in 1913.
It lasted almost a century, closing in 2012.  But it is slated to reopen as a
"recovery program for those battling mental-health and substance-abuse issues."


The abandoned asylum has been using a number of other TV productions
including "The X-Files" and "Supernatural".

It's about six miles northeast of Betty's house, and about 11 miles northeast of Fort Langley.



Here is a matching Google StreetView of the hospital.










More Riverdale locations!




Click here to see all of the filming locations
shown in Riverdale's 30-second opening sequence.
Plus a Google Map showing all of the Riverdale locations.





The Riverdale  screenshots from the show & all related characters & elements are trademarks of
Archie Comics and Warner Bros TV.  All other photos & text are Copyright  2017-Gary Wayne
and may not be used without written permission.


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