Q. What is it supposed to be on the show?
A. A cheap motel.
Q. Where is it supposed to be on the show?
A. It's not specified, but probably somewhere in Newport Beach.
Q. When did we see it on the show?
A. In only one episode: Episode 3, of Season 4, "The Cold Turkey", where Volchok surrenders to the police (after a final confrontation with Ryan).
The scene takes place after the death of Marissa.
Volchok, having caused the fatal accident, fled to Mexico, and he has now returned to meet with Sandy, who has convinced him to turn himself in. He is staying at a motel (in room #103), waiting for the police to show up, when Ryan, still looking for vengeance, shows up.
Sandy, trusting Ryan not to kill Volchok, lets him go up to Volchok's room, where a violent outcome is barely avoided. Volchok tells Ryan that he was only trying to make them stop the car, so that he and Ryan could settle things - and the rest was an accident.
police arrive, Volchok surrenders, and is led away in handcuffs.
Q. What is it actually in real life?
A. A coastal motel - but a long way from Newport.
Q. Where can I find it in real life?
A. It's known as the Seaport Marina Hotel, and is located at 6400 Pacific Coast Highway, in Long Beach, CA, at the corner of Pacific Coast Highway & Second Street, just northeast of the Naples/Belmont Shore area, and about a mile northwest of the Seal Beach (Orange County) border.
It's a particularly large motel, shaped in an usual double-S pattern. The scene appears to have been shot at the western end of those two-level buildings. (The camera is looking northeast in the photo above.)
And according to Tim Grobaty, Elvis Presley stayed at this motel back in 1972 (when the hotel was known as the Edgewater Hyatt House), when Elvis was performing two concerts at the Long Beach Arena.
( Warning: In 2007, word had it that this motel might be torn down soon to make way for a major retail/office project. But as of 2010, it's still here and open for business.)
It's right next
to the upscale market where Ryan & Seth
bumped into Julie, in the same episode.
Q. How the heck did you figure out where it was?
A. I have driven past this particular motel a million times (on my way to Newport Beach, Seal Beach or Naples Island) yet I didn't immediately recognize it when I saw it on the show. That's because the scenes were shot at night, in the inner-facing sections of the sprawling motel, and I was used to seeing the larger exterior buildings near the NW corner.
(I shot the photos below in 2007)
Many L.A. motels
look alike, and this one (as seen on the show) was no exception, but
there were a few clues to go on: screencaps showed that the motel
had aqua railings, unusual aqua street lamps, green doors, a slanted palm
tree, and (what appeared to be) ivy climbing up one of the railings. When
I checked out the Seaport Marina Hotel, those details matched perfectly.
O.C. screenshots from the show and all related characters & elements
are trademarks of and © Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.