The Water Polo Pool.
Q. What is it supposed to be on the show?
A. The water
polo pool at the Harbor School.
Q. Where is it supposed to be on the show?
A. In Newport
Q. When did we see it on the show?
A. In Episode 6 (of season four), ""The Summer Bummer".
Kaitlin is now attending the Harbor School, and attempting to fit in. So she attends a water polo match, where she meets two new girls ('Olivia' & 'Lea'), who are impressed by the fact that she knows Ward, a member of the polo team.
Just then, 'Riley' comes along, a bossy princess type who obviously rules the social scene at Harbor. She tells the two girls that if they don't get to work making invitations to her Sweet 16 party, they won't get to come to her party. So the girls scramble to please her, much to the disgust of Kaitlin.
However, later, Riley returns and tells Olivia & Lea that (despite their work on her behalf) they're not invited to her party.
Kaitlin, who can't stand it any more, tells the girls that she's throwing a party of her own, and that it will have "five kegs, a quarter ounce, and no parents"... (Which later results in a big kegger scene at Summer's house, with Riley complaining that no one came to her party.)
A. A real high school pool, but nowhere near Newport.
Q. Where can I find it in real life?
A. Since this is supposed to be the Harbor School, it might seem likely that it would be at Mount Saint Mary's, where they film the Harbor School scenes, right? But it isn't.
Instead, they shot the scene at the swimming pool of the school that appeared earlier in the series as Newport Union High: Mira Costa High School in Manhattan Beach, California. The address is 1401 Artesia Blvd. (at Peck Ave.)
The swimming pool is located just west of the center of the high school campus. (Most of the other O.C. scenes were shot on the school's east side.) And yes, Mira Costa does actually have both a boys & girls water polo team.
Manhattan Beach is familiar ground for The O.C. The show is filmed at Manhattan Beach Studios. The golf course, soccer field, dance rehearsal hall and tennis courts are all next door to the studio, in the same city.
But Mira Costa High is about a mile and a half south of the studio, and roughly the same distance (northeast) from the often-used Redondo Beach Pier.
The photo of Mira Costa High to the right (which I shot in 2006) shows the south side of the school building.
Q. How the heck did you figure out where it was?
A. Actually, I didn't. I was stumped until I got some help. I had looked at just about every swimming pool in L.A. without finding it. I had considered the pool at Mira Costa early on, of course, but I had mistakenly ruled it out it because it didn't seem to have the same buildings on the north side of the pool that were apparent in the scene.
In 2008, I heard
from Max S (the same fan from
Germany who earlier tipped me to the location of Dr.
Griffin's Tennis Court), who told me he thought it was the pool at
Newport Union High. I still couldn't spot the green & white building
that I thought should be on the north side, but Max pointed out that
the shot was actually looking east, and then it became clear that the building
was actually a small shed tucked away in the northeast corner of the pool
area. All of the other details matched perfectly as well... especially
the windows of the long building on the east side. (Thanks
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