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.
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.
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.