Seeing Stars: Where the Movies Were Shot on Location
of TV Shows,
Made-for-TV Movies & Music Videos.
The 1970's series "WONDER WOMAN",
starred Lynda Carter as the comic book
hero and her alter ego Diana Prince, battling evil alongside the IADC (Inter-Agency
The IADC building seen on the show was actually the Inglewood
City Hall, located at 1 Manchester Blvd, in the city of
( That same City Hall building was also seen as
the coroner's office, Dr. Quincy's workplace, in Jack Klugman's
70's TV show, "QUINCY, M.E."
Speaking of "WONDER WOMAN",
her "Paradise Island" scenes were actually shot at The Arboretum
of Los Angeles County, located across the street from Santa
Anita race track at 301 N. Baldwin Ave., in Arcadia, CA. It's open
to the public, and is a very nice place to visit (especially in the Spring),
with peacocks, fountains, flowers, waterfalls, and a large lagoon where
"Fantasy Island" was shot.
[Click on the the photo above to see a larger version. This scene was shot
near the pool/fountain on the large central lawn at the Arboretum. The
camera is facing west, looking from outside the Arboretum (near parking
area to the east) into the paid area of the park.]
Remember the opening credits of the TV-comedy "THREE'S
COMPANY," where the trio were frolicking on a boardwalk
and riding bumper-cars? That opening scene was shot at the Santa Monica
Pier. (They have since built a larger amusement park area adjacent
to the pier, which wasn't there when the series was filmed.)
A later opening sequence from "Three's
Company" (shot after Suzanne Somers
left the show) featured the new threesome riding a zoo tram and looking
at flamingos. Those sequences were filmed at the Los Angeles County Zoo
in Griffith Park.
From 1976 to 1981, the nation was enthralled by
the adventures of Farrah, Kate & Jaclyn in TV's "CHARLIE'S ANGELS."
The trio of beautiful detectives worked for "Townsend
Investigations", and the headquarters for the Townsend
agency was an actual building at the southwest corner of Robertson
Blvd and Clifton Way, in Beverly Hills, just north of Wilshire
Blvd. (The exact address is 189 N. Robertson Blvd.)
We may never have seen 'Charlie', but we saw this
building a lot.
The modest, brick building has changed a little over the years - the owner
expanded the windows in front. And it now houses... a vacuum cleaner store.
(I'll try to resist saying "that sucks.") But it's still easy
for "Angels" fans to recognize.
[ When ABC remade the TV series in 2011, they inexplicably relocated
the Townsend Agency to Miami Beach! And instead of brick, they used
this white Art Deco building at 425 Ocean Drive, Miami (StreetView). ]
You know the opening scenes from "M*A*S*H,"
of course, where the helicopters land at the mobile army hospital and unload
If those hills behind the helicopters look familiar, that's because those
are the local Santa Monica Mountains. The scene was shot at the old Century
Ranch, now part of Malibu CreekState Park,
east of Malibu Canyon/Las Virgines Road (which meets PCH just west of the
Malibu Pier at Pepperdine University.)
It was formerly the 20th Century Fox movie ranch, and many movies have
been shot there ), including "PLANET OF THE
APES" and the war film "TORA! TORA! TORA!."
In the 1984 Randy Newman
music video "I LOVE L.A.,"
we see a giant donut emblazoned with the name "Randy's" on the
side. This is a real donut shop called "Randy's Donuts";
it's located in Inglewood, at 805 W. Manchester Boulevard, just west of
the San Diego (405) Freeway. [Buy
This mammoth donut has also been seen in a number of movies, including
2010's "IRON MAN 2",
1985's "INTO THE NIGHT,"
with Michelle Pfeiffer, 1989's
"EARTH GIRLS ARE EASY"
(with Geena Davis), 1991's "BREATHLESS" (with
Richard Gere) and 1983's "LOVE LETTERS"
(with Jamie Lee Curtis) *
Queen Anne cottage near the lagoon
at the Los Angeles State & County Arboretum
(at 301 N. Baldwin Avenue) in Arcadia was featured during
the opening credits of each episode of "FANTASY ISLAND,"
when little "Tattoo" would climb the cottage's bell tower and
call out "Da Plane, Boss! Da Plane!."
Other TV shows shot there include "MURDER SHE WROTE"
and "ROOTS". And, of course,
If you liked "THE
LOVE BOAT" on TV, then you might want to see the real "Love
Boat" in the Los Angeles Harbor
at San Pedro. The TV series was shot aboard the real Princess cruise ships.
The original show was shot chiefly aboard the Pacific Princess
and the Island Princess. The 90's version is shot
aboard the Sun Princess. These
Princess "fun ships" dock regularly at the cruise terminal just
beneath the Vincent Thomas Bridge in San Pedro.
You can also watch these ships sail down the channel
from the nearby Ports O'Call Village.
The final episode of "THE FUGITIVE"
(with David Janssen) drew the
largest TV audience of any show up to that date. Set throughout Los Angeles,
that final chase took Dr. Richard Kimble from the Los Angeles
Produce Mart (near 7th and Central - see
a map) in downtown (where he shielded his face from a policeman by
carrying a box of lettuce on his shoulder), to the Los
Angeles Zoo (in Griffith Park)
played 'Dr. Joe Gannon' on the popular '70s TV series "MEDICAL CENTER,"
where the action took place in the fictitious "University Medical
In fact, the building shown each week in the opening credits of the show was the
UCLA Medical Center, a gigantic,
ten-story complex with over 18 miles of corridors, which takes up the entire
south end of the UCLA campus. That massive building is now called the Center of Health Sciences.
You can see an aerial photo of the medical center here.
is located at the north end of Westwood Blvd., in L.A.'s Westwood Village.)
And a fan, Dan Katz, tells me that the show also
filmed a lot on the campus of Cal-State Northridge, where they used the
exteriors of Oviatt Library and the Sierra Towers as medical buildings.
In TV's "THE ROCKFORD
FILES," detective James Garner
lived in a house trailer on the beach, at the fictional address of "29
Cove Road." That stretch of beach was really the beach behind
(what was then) the Sandcastle Restaurant at Paradise Cove
(at 28128 Pacific Coast Highway) in Malibu
- about five miles west of the Malibu Pier. (That restaurant is now
called the Paradise Cove Beach Café.)
* Locations marked by an asterisk (*) may be located
in areas with high crime rates.
Exercise reasonable caution.
For information about watching TV sitcoms
being taped live in the studio, see the separate page about getting tickets
to live TV tapings.
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