The location: "Chino" in Venice.

Q. What is it supposed to be on the show?

    A. Ryan's childhood home town of Chino.

Q. Where is it supposed to be on the show?

    A. Chino, California. Chino is a small town located east of Los Angeles, just south of Pomona.

    Here is a map link to the real Chino.

    And a map to that city's official website.

    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 1 (of season 2), "The Distance", where Ryan moves back to Chino to be with Theresa, because he thinks she may be pregnant with his child.

Q. What is it actually in real life?

    A. An home in a residential neighborhood - but not in 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 East L.A., Lawndale and Sun Valley.

    These particular scenes were filmed in Venice, CA., which is located between Marina Del Rey and Santa Monica.

    • In Episode 1 (of season 2), "The Distance", we see Ryan come out of that "Chino" house and carry the trash out to the curb. He sees some kids riding their bikes on his old street, and flashes back to a memory of himself as a youth on the same street.

      • That house that he shared with Theresa (a small white home with bars on the windows) is located at 2342 Frey Avenue (the northeast corner of Frey & Cloy Ave.), in Venice.  This isn't the pricey, well-known Venice canals area, it's a working class, residential neighborhood about half a mile east of the canals (just north of Marina Del Rey).

      • The street, where he watches the children ride their bikes, is actually Olive Avenue
        (just west of Cloy Ave.) in Venice, CA., just around the corner from the house.

[ I shot both photos in 2006. ]

      Warning: Remember that these are private homes. Don't trespass on their property,
      knock on their doors, or do anything else that might disturb the residents!

    • Attention: The day I visited these two parts of Venice & Lawndale, the neighborhoods seemed harmless enough (although there really isn't much to see there). But those security bars on the windows might indicate that a crime problem exists; so if you choose to visit the areas, exercise reasonable caution.

    • "Chino" scenes in other episodes were shot in other parts of L.A., including East L.A., Sun Valley & Lawndale.

Q. How the heck did you figure out where it was?

    A. I didn't have much to go on for these scenes. Just part of the house number (it was blurry and looked like it might be 2242, 2342 or 2842), and an out-of-focus street sign (in the flashback scene with the kids on bikes) that could have been "Clay Ave", "Chey Ave" or "Choy Ave."

    So I started Googling various combinations of similar numbers and street names. For some reason, when I typed in "Clay Avenue", the Google map gave me Cloy Avenue, which turned out to be the right street.

    Comparing the Google aerial maps with the screenshots, the roofs and trees seemed to match. Given the address, I could limit it to just two or three streets in the area. So I drove down to Venice and took a look. It's a small neighborhood, so it isn't that hard to scout. Once there, that wood fence (which the kids ride past on their bikes) with the banana trees behind it jumped out at me, then it wasn't hard to find the matching house right around the corner.

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THE O.C. screenshots from the show and all related characters & elements are trademarks of and © Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
All other photos & text are Copyright  1999-2024-Gary Wayne and may not be used without written permission.

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