The location: Summer's Protest.

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

    A. An industrial plant where Summer is seen leading a protest.

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

    A. The location isn't specified.

Q. When did we see it on the show?

    A. In the final episode (16, of season four), "The End's Not Near, It's Here".

    After Summer and Seth say goodbye at a bus stop, the show takes a fast-forward look at the characters' future, and Summer is glimpsed carrying a sign and leading a protest outside an industrial plant.

    We then see Seth looking at a newspaper photo of the incident, with a caption which reads: 

       "Summer Roberts (center) and one hundred other protesters picket a local industrial plant on Tuesday. Trucks hauling toxic waste were halted at the facility's fenceline as students and others continued their three-day campaign to stop the shipment of industrial by-products to locations throughout the country for underground disposal. EPA officials have promised a sweeping investigation of the company's twenty one separate dumping sites..."

Q. What is it actually in real life?

    A. In the scene, we see both the Edison "Galaxy" power substation (a small, fenced-off area filled with tanks and transformers) in front, and the Northrop- Grumman building, which is seen behind it.

    (Northrop-Grumman is a well-known aerospace company, which,as far as I know, has nothing to do with toxic dumping in real life. Their Manhattan Beach facility makes fighter planes for Boeing.)

    The chain-link fencing (topped with barbed wire), big electrical transformers and storage tanks at the Edison substation help give the scene the generic industrial look the producers needed. And all they had to do was walk across the street.

Q. Where can I find it in real life?

    A. Both the Edison substation and Northrop-Grumman are both located right next to Manhattan Beach Studios, where The OC is filmed - literally right across the street from the studio (on the east side of Redondo Ave.)

    The Edison Galaxy Substation is located just a few yards north of the southwest corner of N. Redondo Avenue & 33rd Street in Manhattan Beach. Northrop-Grumman's building is right behind the substation (to the east); for some reason, Northrop-Grumman's address is listed as 1 Space Park Blvd, Redondo Beach, despite it close proximity to the Manhattan Beach studio.

    • This same general location (a few yards to the south) was also used to create Trey's bus station, back in Episode 1 (of Season three), "The Aftermath", when Trey left town - after being shot by Marissa.

    Here is an aerial photo from Live Local, with the filming location marked.

    And here is a map link.

    I shot the photo below in 2007 (looking east / northeast)

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

    A. If you freeze-frame the scene, you can see the name 'Northrop-Grumman' near the top of the building where they are protesting. There is more than one Northrop-Grumman facility in the L.A. area, so I went to Live Local's aerial maps, and I first looked at the facility closest to The OC's studio. It took me a few spins around the perimeter of the company's property to pinpoint the exact spot where they filmed it the short scene, but once I did it was clearly identifiable by the white tanks and the large electrical coils out front (as well as that Northrop-Grumman sign up above). I then went there in person, and discovered that the fenced-in area wasn't a part of Northrop-Grumman, that it was, instead, a separate Edison facility.

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