True Detective Filming Locations (Season 2) (Episode 2)

Episode 7

The actual Southern California locations where
"True Detective" was filmed.

Episode 1  -  Episode 2  -  Episode 3  -  Episode 4
Episode 5  -  Episode 6  -  Episode 7  -  Episode 8

At 08:55, as her FBI boss tells Ani tells the sordid history of the city of Vinci, we
see a group of kids playing in what looks like a polluted
storm drain channel.

The camera pans up to show a bleak industrial landscape of cement mixers,
factory towers, and a tanker train crossing a trestle over the storm drain channel.

Later (at 12:10), Ray tries to warn the kids to go, yelling to them that the
water is poison.  But they just flip him off, so he gives up and leaves.

This scene was shot in the Los Angeles River canal,
just south of 2679 Washington Blvd
, in Vernon, CA.

The camera is looking at the east side of the canal.

The building shown (with all the cement mixers) is
"Associated Ready-Mix Concrete", located at 2739 Washington Blvd.

But the view has been heavily doctored by CGI.

The factory towers behind the building, have been added,
as has the big storm drain itself (on the wall of the canal).

If you look at both Google StreetViews and Bing aerial photos, you'll note
that, in real life, there is no drain on the wall of that canal.  It's a CGI insertion.


At 11:17, Ray meets with Frank (and one of his thugs)  in a weed lot, near the canal,
and they talk about the murdered Vinci City Manager, Ben Caspere.

They mention Caspere's eyes being burned out with acid, and a shotgun blast to his genitals.
Frank concludes that it was torture, that "somebody wanted to know something",
and he thinks it's related to the business deals he had going with Caspere.

Frank orders Ray to "beat the bushes" and figure out who killed him.

This scene was shot on the opposite (west) side of that same L.A. River channel in Vernon,
in a weed lot located between the edge of that channel and a produce business called
Southland Distributors
(at 2640 E Washington Blvd).

They appear to be standing almost directly under the train trestle
that we saw in the earlier scene.

Here is a Google StreetView of that weed lot, as seen from Washington Blvd.


At 14:26, we see a night time aerial shot of  yet another freeway interchange:

(This time, the cameras spend about 13 seconds slowly rotating above it.)

This is a shot of the interchange of the Ventura (101) Freeway and the Foothill (210) Freeway,
in Pasadena, CA, about half a mile east/southeast of the world-famous Rose Bowl.

In the screenshot above, the camera is looking west/southwest.

Here is a matching Google Earth aerial shot.

And here is a Google StreetView of what it looks like driving there.


At 16:41, we see Frank and two lawyers walking through what looks like a factory of some kind.

They are discussing Frank's deal with Caspere, which has fallen apart now that Caspere is dead.

Frank is clearly upset, and tells the Catalyst attorney that he had given Caspere $5 million
to buy land in the upcoming development.  But the lawyer insists that Caspere never
gave them that money.  He offers to sell the same parcel to Frank for  $7 million.

That factory turns out to be nothing less than the Los Angeles Times Building
(L.A.'s prime newspaper), at 202 W. 1st Street, in downtown Los Angeles.

Here is a Google StreetView of the building.


They step outside, onto a downtown street, where Frank expresses a desire to buy back the land
- but he doesn't seem to have the money to do so.  The lawyer gets into his car & leaves.

In this scene, they exit the building via its south side,
out onto 2nd Street (between Spring & Broadway).

In the screencap above, the camera is looking west on 2nd Street, towards Broadway.
They are standing at approximately 251 W. 2nd Street.

The reddish part belongs to the parking garage for the L.A. Times.

You can see part of Walt Disney Concert Hall in the distance, at 111 S. Grand Ave.
And that tall, white building behind it is Bunker Hill Towers, at 800 W. 1st Street.

Here is a matching Google StreetView of the view from 2nd Street, looking west.


24:49: Ray meets with his wife, who is angry about Ray beating up the school bully's father.

They appear to be in a public shopping center.

He expected to meet his son there, but she didn't bring him.
She tells him that she is petitioning for sole custody of the boy.

This is the Northridge Fashion Center mall,
at 9301 Tampa Ave, in Northridge, CA.

(Northridge is located near the center of the San Fernando Valley.)

To be more specific, this is the north end of mall, with the camera looking southeast.

To the right, that tower sign is the Pacific Theatres.  The yellow storefront belongs
to Buffalo Wild Wings.  And the building on the left side is World Market.

Here is a matching Google Earth aerial view.

The Northridge Fashion Center opened as an enclosed mall in 1971, but this scene
was filmed at a newer, outdoor wing, which was added after the 1994
Northridge earthquake damaged the mall.

Here is a Google StreetView of that north wing of the mall.


27:57: Frank has two thugs stage an accident under a freeway overpass.,
and then beat up the driver when he gets out of the car - for no apparent reason.

Afterward, Frank shows up, pretending he wants to be of help, but he winds up asking the
victim what he did that might have caused the guys to beat him up - ending with a
 not-very-subtle warning about "not running book in Vinci sweatshops".

I searched for days for this damn freeway underpass location.
I checked virtually every freeway interchange in L.A., and almost gave up.

But then, I watched the scene again and picked up a few more clues that I had
missed the first time. While I had noticed that there was ivy growing on this
freeway overpass, I hadn't noticed that there was also a zig-zag line etched
into the upper edge of the overpass. And more importantly, I noticed that
there was a sign reading "Recycling Center" painted on one of the round
freeway pillars - visible for just a few frames.

With those clues in hand, I went looking again - and found it.

First off, this is NOT the huge interchange they show just before the scene begins.
(That one is the same  405/118 Interchange seen back in the first episode.)

This scene was shot under an offramp at the interchange of
the Harbor (110) Freeway and the Santa Monica (10) Freeway
near the L.A. Convention Center, just south of downtown Los Angeles.

Which offramp?  It's an offramp from the northbound Harbor Freeway
that leads to either the eastbound Santa Monica Freeway, or to Pico Blvd
depending on which lane the driver stays in.  If they stay to the right, the
ramp loops back east.  If they go straight ahead, they end at Pico Blvd.

The actors are standing under the looping part of that ramp.

They didn't shoot on the actual freeway, of course, they shot on a
surface street that passes beneath the freeway ramps.

They filmed this scene on Venice Blvd (around 750 Venice Blvd), just
a few yards east of the Harbor Freeway, between Wright Street and the 110.

(That's about 500 feet southwest of the Convention Center.)

Here is a Google StreetView of the street where they filmed the scene.

Here is a Google StreetView from on top of that ramp (that the scene was shot below).


More "True Detective" locations!


The photos on this page are stills from "True Detective - Season 2"
(which you can buy by clicking here) and are copyright Showtime.

The rest of the page is Copyright  1999-2024-Gary Wayne /