“Mesa Gold Resort / Mesa Bar”
Q. What is it supposed to be on the show?
A balcony overlooking the Mesa Gold Resort, a modern bar and
entertainment area where Westworld guests can relax before and after
their adventures in the faux Western theme park.
Q. When do we see it?
First, in Episode
1, where Theresa (the head of Quality Assurance for Devos) has a
conversation with Lee Sizemore, in which he tells her that it's a bad
idea to keep making the 'hosts' more lifelike, because Westworld only
works because guests know that the hosts aren't real. He suggests
even rolling back recent upgrades to make the robots more manageable,
something that doesn't seem to please Theresa.
Q. What is it in real life?
We see this Mesa Resort again in Episode 6, where author Lee Sizemore is lounging by the resort
pool bar, getting drunk, when he spots an attractive female guest and hits
on her, revealing that he writes the scenarios for Westworld (while
trying to impress her), and criticizing Devos management for screwing things
(Unfortunately, he finds out later that the 'guest' is actually a major management honcho.)
A. A courtyard at a local museum.
Q. Where can I find it in real life?
A. This was shot at the Skirball Cultural Center,
a Jewish museum and cultural center located next to the 405 Freeway
just before it emerges from the Sepulveda Pass into the Valley, at 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles.
A That balcony where Teresa and Lee Sizemore are standing overlooks the center's Taper Courtyard (see the photo below), which is the scene of many weddings and other special events at the Center.
And it's in that courtyard below where they shot the Mesa Gold
resort scenes, where a drunk Sizemore made the mistake of hitting on a
Devos corporate honcho.
While there seems to be a swimming pool at the Mesa resort, in real life there is a pool, but it's a shallow reflecting pool, with water lilies, not swimmers.
On the show, the Mesa Bar is located on top of (and at the edge of) the
giant mesa that houses all of the Devos/Westworld underground corporate
So the producers faked the background in these Mesa Gold
scenes, inserting the natural background of Utah where, in real life,
there is just a bushy California hillside.
than use CGI for that balcony conversation scene, they instead took a
replica of the Skirball railing to Utah, and filmed some of the
reaction shots there, with the actual Utah buttes and canyons in the
background, then intercut those Utah scenes with the shots actually
filmed on the Skirball balcony, giving the impression that the balcony
overlooked the more colorful Utah scenery.
They provided a photo of them shooting that scene in Utah, complete with the partial balcony:
Here is a map link to Skirball Center.
Here is a Google Earth aerial view of the balcony area.
And here is a Google StreetView of the Center's entrance.
Q. How the heck did you figure out where it was?
I first went to the Skirball Museum back in 1988 (when I was doing
research for the L.A. guidebook that evolved into this website), when
it was just a small Jewish museum near USC. They didn't move into this
huge Cultural Center until 1996.
Hollywood has recently taken interest in the Skirball Center as a filming location.
They used that same balcony for a scene in the Halle Berry sci-fi series, "Extant", so I recognized the balcony when I saw it again. They also shot a scene from "True Blood" at the Center.
The Westworld screenshots from the show & all related characters &
elements are trademarks of and © HBO.
All other photos & text are Copyright © 2018-Gary Wayne
and may not be used without written permission.
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