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Archives for April 2013

Los Angeles Filming Locations

The Hollywood sign has been featured in countless movies and TV shows.

The Hollywood sign has been featured in countless movies and TV shows.

Sites around the greater Los Angeles area have been the backdrop for countless movies and TV shows. From the beaches of Santa Monica and Malibu, to the rolling hills of the West San Fernando and Conejo Valleys, location scouts in years past didn’t have to go far to find the ideal place for filming.

Malibu’s Paradise Cove beach was almost as  big a star as Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon in Beach Blanket Bingo and other ’60s surf movies.  Harry Medved, author of  several books on Hollywood history, says these same beaches were also used to portray Polynesian and Mexican shores.

About 20 miles inland from Malibu, over the rolling hills of Kanan Road, Medved says The Agoura Ranch in Oak Park was the site of several westerns and other films.

Pacific Park in Santa Monica is one of the few pier-based amusement parks. It's also a location of TV shows and movies.

Pacific Park in Santa Monica is one of the few pier-based amusement parks. It's also a location of TV shows and movies.

A lot of actors called the West San Fernando Valley area home, according to Medved.  The sprawling hills and blue skies were a peaceful alternative to living in the city, yet not to far away from the Hollywood studios.  As I child growing up in the Conejo Valley, it wasn’t unusual to see celebrities from time to time.  I recall my mother pointing out the actor who portrayed Marcus Welby M.D (Robert Young) reading a book on the grass at a Westlake Village strip mall.

The original Bat Cave from the Batman TV series is located in the hills near LA's Griffith Park.

The original Bat Cave from the Batman TV series is located in the hills near LA's Griffith Park.

Click here to listen as Harry Medved shares stories of location filming in the West San Fernando Valley and Oak Park area with my colleague and buddy Pete Demetriou of KNX Radio, for KNX On Your Corner.

 

For more on the history on filming in the greater Los Angeles area, check out Harry Medved’s books Location Filming in Los Angeles and Oak Park.

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Farewell Firestone: Rare freeway off ramp closes

The now-closed Firestone Boulevard off ramp was one of only a few 'left side' freeway off ramps in California.

If  you drive on the Santa Ana (5) Freeway between Orange C0unty and Los Angeles, you’ve probably noticed the Firestone Exit – it’s one of the few left exit ramps in California. Drivers exit on the left side of the freeway instead of the usual right side of the freeway.

The Firestone Boulevard exit shut down forever in March, as part of a freeway rennovation project. So, here’s to the memories – a few pics of the Firestone Boulevard off ramp from the 5 (Santa Ana freeway) in Norwalk.

A now-extinct relic off LA's Santa Ana (5) Freeway, the left-exiting Firestone Boulevard off ramp.

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