"Chino" in East L.A.
Q. What is it supposed to be on the show?
A. Ryan's former
home town of Chino, and a dangerous auto yard
where Ryan gets beaten up.
Q. Where is it supposed to be on the show?
A. ...in Chino, California. Chino is a small town located east of Los Angeles, just south of Pomona.
But the show
wasn't really filmed in Chino.
Q. When did we see it on the show?
A. For this
location of "Chino": in Episode 11 (of season 1), "The Homecoming",
when Ryan delivers a car to a rough-looking auto yard/tire place (as a
favor for his imprisoned brother). This
is supposed to pay off his brother's debt, but the guys there decide to
beat up Ryan for "interest". Fortunately, Marissa shows up behind
the wheel and gives him an escape route.
Q. What is it actually in real life?
A. An actual
residential home, and an actual auto yard/tire place, in a bad part of
town (nowhere near Chino).
Q. Where can I find it in real life?
A. It's not in the real Chino.
The O.C.'s "Chino" is actually made up of several different locations around L.A., including Venice, East L.A., Lawndale and Sun Valley. These particular scenes were shot in two different places. The car delivery/tire place scenes were shot in a neighborhood known as "Lincoln Heights", in East L.A., about four miles northeast of downtown Los Angeles.
link for the auto yard.
Caution: this is not really a part of town tourists should visit. Major
gang problems. ]
(The scenes of Theresa's family Chino home, in the same episode, were filmed far from East L.A., in Lawndale.)
Q. How the heck did you figure out where it was?
A. It was very difficult locating the tire place where Ryan got beat up delivering Trey's car. I looked for that place for ages, before finally tracking it down. Finally, after I managed to locate the Lock Shop mural in the Lincoln Heights area, I started checking the residential neighborhoods in the same area to see if I could find one of the "Chino" homes. It wasn't there. But along the way, it occurred to me to type the search word "tires" into the Live Local aerial map program. I honestly didn't expect it to work - for all I knew, it wasn't even really a tire place; it might have been a car repair shop, an auto wrecking yard, or just some alleyway that the producers decorated with tires; there are dozens of places just like that around East L.A. But to my surprise, up popped Rodriguez Tires. And when I used Live Local's "Birds-Eye" feature to take a close look at the location, not only could I see the tire place, I could also make out the unusual mural ("Pride in the Area") painted on the wall across the street (seen on the show when Marissa rescues Ryan), confirming my discovery.
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