The location: Johnny Harper's House.


Q. What is it supposed to be on the show?

    A. A residential home.


Q. Where is it supposed to be on the show?

    A. Somewhere in Newport Beach.


Q. When did we see it on the show?

    A. In Johnny Harper first made his appearance in Episode 4 of the Third Season ("The Last Waltz"), when Marissa (having been expelled from the exclusive Harbor School) was forced to attend a public school: Newport Union High School.

    There, she met a number of new friends, including Johnny and his friend Chili, who were both surfers, and went to the beach to hang out with them.

    Johnny developed a crush on Marissa, who didn't return his romantic feelings, but who enjoyed his company and the fact that they both shared similar past experiences.  But the fact that she hung out with Johnny at all caused friction between she and her then-boyfriend, Ryan.

    Johnny wins a big surfing contest, but is then struck by a car, destroying his dreams of a surfing career. His life spirals downward.  He tries to rob a mini-mart to get cash for an operation. And when he realizes that Marissa will never love him, he gets drunk on a beach (with Kaitlin) and climbs a steep rock cliff, only to fall to his death.

    We first see Johnny's house in Episode 9 ("The Discontent"), when he's on crutches after the accident, and Marissa & Ryan drive him home. They see two houses, one is a large, handsome home, and the other a small, modest house. Marissa says "Oh, is that yours? The one with the white trim?", indicating the large home; which forces poor Johnny to say "No, it's the one next to it..."

    We see the house several other times on the show, including after Johnny is dead, in Episode 15 ("The Heavy Lifting) when Ryan and his cousin Sadie are packing up Johnny's things.


Q. What is it actually in real life?

    A. A residential home - just not in Newport.


Q. Where can I find it in real life?

    A. The small blue & white house (and the big house next to it) is located on a residential street not far from the Redondo Beach marina (where you'll find the Balboa Lighthouse, the Breakwater and the Yacht Club).

    (That seems appropriate, since when Marissa first meets Johnny on his beach, he's surfing at Redondo.)

    The address is 524 N. Helberta Avenue, in Redondo Beach. That's one house in (south) from the northeast corner Helberta Ave. & Carnelian Street. (Helberta slants diagonally to the northeast. It is also a relatively narrow street, making it difficult to pass other cars when there are cars parked at the curb. So if you choose to drive past the house, exercise reasonable caution.)

    [ 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 map link. And here is an aerial photo from Live Local.

    (I shot the photos below in 2007.)

    


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

    A. On the show, the house number (524) on Johnny's house was visible right out in front. The juxtaposition of the small, blue house next to the big, tile-roofed house is unusual. And the show included plenty of shots of the surrounding neighborhood, making it obvious that the house was next to a corner (with a stop sign), and that it was a slanted street that ended at another street. I know that Redondo Beach seems to be the producer's usual first choice for locales, and that Redondo's neighborhoods have a mix of home styles. So Redondo seemed a good place to start looking, using Live Local's aerial photos.



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THE O.C. screenshots from the show and all related characters & elements are trademarks of and © Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
All other photos & text are Copyright © 2011-Gary Wayne and may not be used without written permission.



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