Tag Archives: 13 Going On 30 filming locations

“Do You Want To Go To Jail? I Meant That Guy!”

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Another filming location I have been absolutely obsessed with finding for YEARS is the New York restaurant where Jenna hit on the 13 year old boy in fave romantic comedy 13 Going On 30.  Ever since the movie was released four years ago I have been searching New York City streets hoping to find the restaurant featured in the movie, but having absolutely no luck.  And then, just before I left on my recent New York vacation, a light bulb went off in my head and I honestly don’t know why I didn’t think of it sooner!  I enlisted master stalker Mike, from MovieShotsLA, to help me find the location.  And sure enough he did!

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Literally less than ten minutes after challenging Mike to find the restaurant’s location, he sent me an email with the above photo!  And I just about fell off my chair.  Here I had been searching for this location for FOUR YEARS, even resorting to walking up and down New York streets, screen captures in hand, trying to find it, and he locates it in the space of ten minutes!  The man has a gift!

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It turns out that the 13 Going On 30  restaurant isn’t actually a restaurant at all, but a clothing store named Phi Boutique  located on a cobblestone street in SoHo’s Cast Iron Historic District.  My initial thought was that maybe a restaurant occupied Phi’s space back in 2003 when the filming of 13 Going On 30 took place, but after speaking to a Phi saleswoman earlier today I learned that that wasn’t actually the case.  Before Phi took over the space at 71 Greene Street in 2004, it was occupied by clothing boutique Vivienne Westwood.  Since no restaurant was ever located on the premises, my best guess is that 13 Going On 30  used the vacant storefront for filming in late 2003 during the interim after Vivienne Westwood moved out and before Phi moved in, and that the restaurant’s interiors were shot somewhere else entirely (possibly even in Los Angeles).  Finding the restaurant’s interior is my next mission for Mike!   🙂

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The Cast Iron Historic District is an architecturally and historically significant area of New York’s SoHo neighborhood.  The Cast Iron District boasts over 250 buildings erected out of cast iron, making it the largest concentration of cast iron buildings in the entire world.  All of the historic buildings were constructed between the years 1869 and 1895, when cast iron was considered the cheapest and easiest-to-use building material.   At the time, different architectural designs were cast in iron inside of a warehouse and later secured into place on building facades creating an architecturally beautiful and diverse area of New York.  The building that Jenna’s hockey player boyfriend stands in front of while signing autographs in 13 Going On 30  is considered by some to be the most brilliant example of cast iron architecture in the city.  The building is known as the “King of Greene Street” and was built in 1872 by cast iron craftsman Isaac F. Duckworth.  It was originally designed as a dry goods warehouse for successful merchant Gardner Colby and now is home to an antique store and art gallery.

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Even though there is no 13 Going On 30  restaurant to stalk on Greene Street, I highly recommend visiting the area anyway.  With its cobblestone streets and historical buildings, it really is an adorable area of New York.

Until next time, Happy Stalking!

Stalk It: The exterior of the restaurant from 13 Going On 30  is really the storefront of Phi Boutique located at 71 Greene Street in New York’s SoHo neighborhood.  Jenna meets Matt’s fiance just next door to Phi, outside of the building located at 69 Greene Street.  And Jenna’s hockey player boyfriend, Alex Carlson, signs autographs across the street in front of 70 Greene Street.

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The Sony Pictures Studio Tour

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Last month Mike, from MovieShotsLA, his fiance Jen, and I decided to go on another studio stalking adventure.  This time we opted for the Sony Pictures Studio Tour in Culver City.  The studio lot that is now owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment (parent company to both Columbia and TriStar Pictures) was originally built in 1915 by producer Thomas Ince for his company Triangle Pictures.  During that time, Culver City was quite a powerhouse in the motion picture industry.  The city even touted itself with the slogan: “Culver City – Where Hollywood Movies Are Made”.  In 1918, Ince sold his studio to Samuel Goldwyn of Goldwyn Pictures Corporation.  Six years later the lot became the legendary MGM Studios when Goldwyn joined forces with Louis B. Mayer and Metro Pictures forming the conglomerate Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.  The rest, as they say, is history. 

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During its heydey MGM liked to say it had “more stars than there are in the heavens”.  And it was pretty much true.  Such mega-stars as Judy Garland, Mickey Rooney, Clark Gable, Katharine Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, and Joan Crawford all called MGM home at one time or another.  Hundreds of hit movies were created within the historic studio walls, including Singin’ in the Rain, The Wizard of Oz, Meet Me In St. Louis, Ben Hur, David Coppefield  and Grand Hotel.  When billionaire Kirk Kerkorian, former owner of the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas, purchased the legendary studio in 1969, he sold off more than 150 acres of MGM’s property.  In one fell swoop, the studio downsized from 183 acres to 30.  😦   Almost all of what was sold off was the studio back lot area, including the street Gene Kelly danced on in Singin’ in the Rain.  How sad!!  After several subsequent ownerships, in 1991 the former MGM Studios was purchased by Sony Pictures.  The good news in all of this is that Sonyspent $100 million rennovating the legendary lot and also opened the place to the public for daily tours.  It is that tour that Mike, Jen and I embarked upon last month.  🙂 

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The tour starts off in the lobby of the Sony Pictures Plaza building (pictured above).  As we pulled up to the building, Mike pointed out that the exterior was used in the filming of the 1987 movie Adventures in Babysitting in the scene where young Sara climbs the exterior of a Chicago skyscraper while her parents unknowingly attend a cocktail party inside.   Love that movie!

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After checking in with out tour guide in the lobby of the Plaza building, we were given Sony Studio Tour VIP lanyards to wear around our neck which we actually got to keep! 🙂  I was way excited about that!  🙂  Then while waiting for the tour to begin, we were encouraged to walk around the Plaza lobby, which is a movie memorabilia museum of sorts.  I absolutely LOVE looking at movie props and costumes, so I was extra excited about this part of the tour.  One of the exhibits included Julia Robert’s wedding dress from Steel Magnolias  and one of Cameran Diaz’s costumes from the first Charlie’s Angels  movie (both are pictured above).  

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Other items on display in the museum include, the gameboard from Jumanji,

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Annie’s letter to Sam and Jonah’s teddy bear and backpack from Sleepless in Seattle,

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artifacts from The DaVinci Code, including the book Tom Hanks character authored,

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Will Smith’s sunglasses and the notecards which contained his speech from Hancock,

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and Julian’s toys from Big Daddy.

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 After milling around the museum for a few minutes, our tour was ready to begin with a short walk across the street to the entrance of the historic studio once known as MGM.  Our first stop was probably my favorite part of the tour – the lightpost which Jennifer Garner posed with for the 13 Going On 30  promotional movie posters.  The lightpost and background were all digitally changed after the photo was taken, but I could not have been more excited to pose there nonetheless!  In fact, Mike, Jen and I almost got separated from the rest of our tour group because we spent so much time trying to get a photo of me in the exact same pose as Jennifer Garner.  LOL  🙂   

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Our next stop was the Irving Thalberg Building, an administration building which was built in 1936 and named for the legendary MGM producer after his untimely death at the young age of 36.  Besides now housing all of the Columbia Pictures Best Picture Oscar statuettes, the building was also recently used as the site of Peter Parker’s high school graduation in the first Spiderman  movie.

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Next we headed over to Main Street, where the studio commissary, cafe, and gift shop are located.  Our tour guide told us that Main Street is often used as a filming location for productions being shot on the lot, but he didn’t know in particular which movies or television shows had filmed there.

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While there, he also demonstrated how most of the doors on Main Street don’t really lead to anything but a stucco wall.  LOL

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Next we headed over to the only exterior/backlot type street located on the Sony lot – an East Coast looking Street, which can stand in for New York, Washington D.C., and even Boston.  Both sides of that street are pictured above.  The exteriors in the top photograph above were used as Jack Nicholson’s apartment building in the movie Something’s Gotta Give.  During the filming of the movie, producers were trying to film a long shot of Jack walking away from his apartment building.  Because there are no sidewalks located on this backlot street, Nicholson appeared very short when walking next to the cars parked along the side of the road.  To fix the problem, producers simply removed the tires on all of the parked cars and voila, Jack appeared to be a normal height. LOL 🙂

After walking down the studio’s sole backlot street, we were taken through the main part of the studio, which includes many soundstages (27 is where they filmed The Wizard of Oz), the scene shop where humongous backdrops are painstakingly painted by numerous artists all working at the same time, the “scoring studio” (a favorite of Barbra Streisand’s) where scores from movies are recorded, and an interior set inside a soundstage that was used in the filming of the new Beyonce movie Obsessed.  Unfortunately we couldn’t take pictures of any of these things. 😦

All in all, the tour lasted about two hours.  While the Sony Pictures Studio Tour was fun, and I was super excited that we got to keep our VIP necktags, I would say that I much prefered the Paramount Pictures Studio Tour  and the Warner Brothers Tour.  My favorite part of studio tours is seeing backlots where countless exteriors are filmed and unfortunately there just wasn’t enough of those to see on the Sony tour.  😦  So while I did enjoy myself, if you are a tourist who only has time for one tour, I suggest one of the other studios.

Until next time, Happy Stalking!  🙂

Stalk It: Sony Pictures Studios is located at 10202 W. Washington Boulevard in Culver City.  You can visit their website and purchase tickets here.  The tour cost is $28 per person and only those 12 years of age and older are permitted.

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Think Pink!

I must bow down right now to Mike over at MovieShotsLA  as yesterday he found a house that I have spent many unsuccessful hours over the past two years looking for – Jenna’s pink dream house from the last scene of my fave movie 13 Going On 30.  Mike said he had a hunch about the area the home was in and found it by looking at aerial shots of streets in that neighborhood.  I am forever grateful!  Literally, as SOON as he gave me the address yesterday, I rushed out of my house and headed over to South Pasadena to stalk the home.  For this particular stalking trip I had to drag my dad along as my boyfriend was at work. 

Jenna’s pink house is, of course, no longer pink – it was only painted pink for the movie.  It is A LOT bigger in person than it seemed on screen, but otherwise is completely recognizable from the movie.  Jenna and Matt move into this house at the very end of 13 Going On 30, and the final scene is them sitting on their couch in the front yard of the home with a moving van in the driveway.  I cannot tell you how excited I was to finally be there as this was one location I honestly thought I’d never find.  Thank you, Mike!!

While my dad and I were stalking the house, a super nice neighbor came home and filled us in on all sorts of filming information about his street.  He told us that Jennifer Garner wasn’t as friendly as one would expect and that she had a big bodyguard who kept fans away the entire time they were filming.  He also told us that the Kelly Clarkson video for Because Of You  was filmed just across the street from the 13 Going On 30  house.  That home is pictured on the left.  He said that Kelly Clarkson could not have been nicer and that even after a really long day of filming, she stuck around for about 40 minutes to sign autographs for all of the neighborhood kids.  He said she literally stayed until every last autograph was signed.  You can watch the Because Of You  video here.

Until next time, Happy Stalking! 🙂

Stalk It:  The 13 Going On 30  house is located at 1965 Fletcher Avenue in South Pasadena.  The Because Of You house is across the street at 2006 Fletcher.  These houses are very close to the other houses  used in 13 Going On 30.

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“I Am Jenna Rink – Big Time Magazine Editor!”

First, let me just say how happy I am that Britney apparently survived Starbucks three hour closure today!  It’s truly a minor miracle!!

 Anyway, on with the post . . .

img_1686.jpgThis past December while on vacation in New York, I happened to walk by a building that I immediately recognized as the “Poise” offices from 13 Going On 30.   I am not sure if it was the gold-framed revolving door that gave it away, or just the fact that I have seen 13 Going On 30  way too many times, but nevertheless I knew the building was used as Jenna Rink’s office the moment I spotted it.  The “Poise” office building was actually built in 1931 and used to house Newsweek Magazine.  It is now home to New York Magazine. 

The store where Jenna shops in the movie and forgets her credit card is Henri Bendel and it is located just a few blocks away at 712 Fifth Avenue.

Until next time, Happy Stalking!  🙂

Stalk It:  The “Poise” offices are located at 444 Madison Avenue in New York City, between 49th and 50th Streets.  Just a half a block down from the office building is the New York Palace Hotel, where much of the TV show Gossip Girl  is filmed.  On the show, Serena lives at the Palace with her parents and often hangs out in the Gilt bar, which can be found just off the hotel’s courtyard. 

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30 Going On 13

If someone asked me what movie most closely resembles my life, I would have to say 13 Going On 30.   I am definitely a child of the 80s, I still dress like a 13 year old most of the time, and I’ve been known to do the Thriller Dance at a few parties, so it’s only natural that I would be slightly obsessed with the movie 13 Going On 30.  While most of the filming locations for the movie are located in Manhattan, a few of them can be found right here in LA.

 Jenna and Matt’s housesIf you are as obsessed with 13 Going On 30 as I am, you’ll remember the scene in the movie when adult Jenna first shows up at Matt’s apartment and says “I don’t know if you’re him, but if you lived on Spruce Street and your favorite shirt is the grey velour one .  .  .”  Well, Jenna and Matt’s houses really can be found on Spruce Street – only they are in South Pasadena, not New Jersey.  Jenna’s house has been painted and looks a bit different, but you will recognize them immediately when you see them. 

Jenna’s houseThis location was extremely easy to find.  I just happened to be getting my nails done one day in South Pasadena and the woman next to me was talking about how her home had been used in a Jennifer Garner movie.  I almost flipped out when I heard it was 13 Going On 30 and I begged her to tell me all of the scoop about the filming.  She told me that the producers also used the inside of her home – and they even used her real bed and bedding in the scene where Jenna crawls into bed with her parents.  She was even nice enough to tell me where her house was and I went to find it just as soon as my nails were dry! 

Intersection of Mission and MeridianAnother 13 Going On 30 location is located just a few blocks away at the intersection of Mission and Meridian at the train tracks.  This is the spot where adult Jenna jumps out of Matt Grandy’s taxi cab and rushes to stop Matt’s wedding.  This location was easy to figure out – I recognized it the first time I saw the movie. 

13goingon30-001.jpgMe hoping over the center divide like Jenna does in the movie!  🙂 

Halloween HouseIf you turn directly around from this location and look behind you, you will see another filming location – Michael Meyer’s house from the original Halloween movie.  The home has definitely been given a face lift and is not nearly as run down as it was back in Michael Meyer’s day, but it is still definitely recognizable.

Until next time, Happy Stalking!

 Stalk It:  Jenna’s and Matt’s houses are located at 1839 and 1837 Spruce Street, respectively.  Spruce Street is just one street north of Huntington Drive in South Pasadena.  Once you’ve stalked those houses, just drive north to Mission Street, turn left and drive to Meridian to see the intersection where Jenna ditches Chris Grandy.  The Halloween house is located at 1000 Mission Street.  After you’re done stalking, grab a coffee or a Fosselman’s ice cream at Buster’s Ice Cream Shop at 1006 Mission St. – all that stalking does work up an appetite!

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