Location #43:

The Photo Shoot

Q.  Where is it supposed to be?

1:24:42: We see Sebastian at the recording studio, about to leave for the day, when he's stopped by Keith, who reminds him that he has to stay for a group photo shoot of the band. 

We then see a nervous Seb pacing outside the studio, waiting for the photo shoot to begin, because he knows he is running out of time to make it to Mia's theatre in time to see her perform in her one-woman show.

At 1:26:07 , we see a British photographer shooting 'candid' photos of the band, in what appears be the recording studio ( but it's not ). 

He's a somewhat irritating bloke, who makes the session even more tortuous for Seb, asking him to make fake faces for the camera, while Seb is growing more and more anxious about not making it to Mia's theatre in time.

Where was it really shot?

Originally, I didn't think I was going to turn out to be a new location.

When I first saw this scene, I was sure it was shot at the recording studio, since the action begins there, and never seems to move to another location.

But despite appearances, the main photo shoot scene wasn't  shot in the studio.

That preliminary shot certainly made it seem that way.  We see Seb standing outside of that EastWest recording studio on Sunset ( our first view of the studio's exterior ), nervously pacing, just a short time before the photo shoot begins.

In the shot above, Seb is standing in a semi-alley ( or driveway ) on the west  side of EastWest Studio, with the camera looking north across Sunset Boulevard,  at the Palms Motel.

See that background  area, across the street, that I outlined in red?

Here is a matching StreetView of that same motel:

( In case you're wondering what the letters WNE stand for, on the front of that building - they are all that is left from the original lettering that read "Hollywood Towne House Motel", The rest seems to have been removed back in 2011 when they changed the name to the Palms Motel. )


But checking the screencaps of the actual ( interior ) photo shoot scene, there weren't many clues to go on that might help me prove it was shot in the studio.

Then I spotted something unusual:  In the background, behind Seb in a few shots, I could see an unusual, gold filigree decoration up on the wall.

And I couldn't find anything similar at the recording studio.

Finally, I remembered that they had definitely shot something inside the old Regent theatre on Main Street, in downtown L.A.  But I had been unable to figure out what it was they filmed there, since all of the previous theatre scenes ( e.g. the Messenger's Concert and Mia's playhouse ) were shot in other theatres. 

So, just playing a hunch, I Googled for photos of the Regent Theatre's interior, to see if I could spot a similar gold decoration on its walls.  I knew it was a longshot, and I honestly doubted that they would rent an entire theatre just to film that simple photo-shoot scene ( that could have been shot in virtually any interior ). 

But I still needed to check it out.  And I'm lucky I did.

Because I found several photos of the Regent's Theatre's interior that revealed a match: its walls indeed sported those same gold filigree decorations.  The square shapes on its white walls also matched, as did the position of a light wall sconce:

( I don't want to bore you with too many techy-details, so just
click on the image above to see a larger version, if you need one. )

So that answered my question; the photo shoot was filmed inside

The Regent Theatre

at 448 S. Main Street, in the Old Bank District
of downtown Los Angeles

They appear to have been on the floor, up near the stage during the shoot, since I'm pretty sure that I can also see a bit of the proscenium arch, in one shot.

Here is a StreetView of the Regent's exterior:

( This old theatre is not to be confused with Landmark's Regent Theatre in Westwood Village..
They are two completely different places. )

The Regent Theatre is the oldest movie house remaining on Main Street.
It opened in 1914, when it was first known as The National.

Those familiar with downtown Los Angeles know that there are many gorgeous, ornate, old movie palaces lining Broadway, because back in the Golden Age, Broadway was the center of movie-going in Los Angeles ( before it shifted to West L.A. ) 

But before Broadway's theatre district even existed, back in the days of silent movies and live theatre, the previous center of theatre-going was on L.A.'s Main Street, where many early theatres were clustered.  Most of them were modest-sized, before the public's affection shifted west to Broadway and its more spectacular movie & vaudeville  palaces.

Like most theatres downtown, the Regent fell upon hard times, and spent its last few years as a porno theater, before it closed in 2000.  As a result of downtown's ongoing renaissance, the Regent was resurrected in 2014 and reopened as a concert venue and live event space.

The former seats have been removed ( most shows are now SRO ), but the original proscenium arch above the stage is still there, such as the Gothic ceilings.

And you have to love this message on the marquee of the Regent:

Oddly enough, the Regent is just 145 feet south of a second branch of Blossom Vietnamese restaurant.  We previously saw Mia sending out emails inside the Chinatown branch of the same restaurant.  Coincidence?

This second branch is only about a mile and a half from the Chinatown branch...

( I wonder if there's a story there... )

Other nearby "La La Land" locations in downtown include
 Angels Flight, Seb's clothing store, and Grand Central Market.

Here is a link to a Google Earth 3-D view of the theatre.


Move on to the next movie location seen in "La La Land".


"La La Land" and its images are copyright Summit Entertainment
The rest of this page is copyright © 2017-Gary Wayne - All Rights Reserved

Or return to the Seeing-Stars home page.