Q. What is it supposed to be on the show?
A. An industrial
plant where Summer is seen leading a protest.
Q. Where is it supposed to be on the show?
A. The location
Q. When did we see it on the show?
A. In the final episode (16, of season four), "The End's Not Near, It's Here".
After Summer and Seth say goodbye at a bus stop, the show takes a fast-forward look at the characters' future, and Summer is glimpsed carrying a sign and leading a protest outside an industrial plant.
We then see Seth looking at a newspaper photo of the incident, with a caption which reads:
Roberts (center) and one hundred other protesters picket a local industrial
plant on Tuesday. Trucks hauling toxic waste were halted at the facility's
fenceline as students and others continued their three-day campaign to
stop the shipment of industrial by-products to locations throughout the
country for underground disposal. EPA officials have promised a sweeping
investigation of the company's twenty one separate dumping sites..."
Q. What is it actually in real life?
A. In the scene, we see both the Edison "Galaxy" power substation (a small, fenced-off area filled with tanks and transformers) in front, and the Northrop- Grumman building, which is seen behind it.
(Northrop-Grumman is a well-known aerospace company, which,as far as I know, has nothing to do with toxic dumping in real life. Their Manhattan Beach facility makes fighter planes for Boeing.)
chain-link fencing (topped with barbed wire), big electrical transformers
and storage tanks at the Edison substation help give the scene the generic
industrial look the producers needed. And all they had to do was walk across
Q. Where can I find it in real life?
A. Both the Edison substation and Northrop-Grumman are both located right next to Manhattan Beach Studios, where The OC is filmed - literally right across the street from the studio (on the east side of Redondo Ave.)
Galaxy Substation is located just
a few yards north of the southwest corner of N. Redondo Avenue
& 33rd Street in Manhattan Beach. Northrop-Grumman's
building is right behind the substation (to the east); for some reason,
address is listed as 1 Space Park Blvd, Redondo Beach,
despite it close proximity to the Manhattan Beach studio.
Here is an aerial photo from Live Local, with the filming location marked.
here is a map
I shot the photo below in 2007 (looking east / northeast)
Q. How the heck did you figure out where it was?
A. If you freeze-frame
the scene, you can see the name 'Northrop-Grumman' near the top of the
building where they are protesting. There is more than one Northrop-Grumman
facility in the L.A. area, so I went to Live Local's aerial maps, and I
first looked at the facility closest to The OC's studio. It took
me a few spins around the perimeter of the company's property to pinpoint
the exact spot where they filmed it the short scene, but once I did it
was clearly identifiable by the white tanks and the large electrical coils
out front (as well as that Northrop-Grumman sign up above). I then went
there in person, and discovered that the fenced-in area wasn't a part of
Northrop-Grumman, that it was, instead, a separate Edison facility.
O.C. screenshots from the show and all related characters & elements
are trademarks of and © Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
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