Tag Archives: Beverly Hills filming locations

The Witch’s House

One of my favorite sites to stalk in all of Beverly Hills is known simply as “The Witch’s House” and it just so happens to fit in perfectly with this month’s Halloween theme.  Although not really a filming location, the house is a Beverly Hills landmark of sorts.  Known formally as “The Spadena House”, after the Spadena family who lived there in the 1930s, the house did show up very briefly in fave movie Clueless, during the scene when Alicia Silverstone is “totally buggin'” about Ty’s crush on Josh (pictured in above screen capture). 

The home was originally built on a silent film studio lot in Culver City known as Irvin C. Willat Productions and was used as an office/dressing room.  It was designed by the very first art direction Oscar Winner, Henry C. Oliver, in 1921.  Willat Productions was sold in 1926 and the house was purchased and later moved to its current location in the heart of Beverly Hills, where it was turned into a private home for the Spadena family.  No one can say for sure how the house came to be called “The Witch’s House”, but mention the words to any Beverly Hills native and they will know exactly what you are talking about.  Personally, I believe the house got its nickname due to its resemblance to the witch’s home in the fairy tale “Hansel and Gretel”.

In 1998, a real estate agent named Michael Libow was hired to sell the house.  Apparently he became frustrated that all prospective buyers planned to demolish the property, so he took matters into his own hands and purchased the home himself for $1.3 million.  He is currently restoring the property to its original state, along with the help of art director Nelson Coates.  For the past few years the two have painstakingly rennovated the home, even re-creating the original moat which once surrounded the property.  The Witch’s House is still currently under rennovation, so unfortunately a large chain link construction fence blocks some of the view from the street.  But hopefully in a few years the rennovations will be complete and the house will be even more spectacular for us stalkers to view. 

Because it is so truly unique, I am actually very surprised that the house hasn’t appeared in more Hollywood productions.  Besides Clueless, the Witch’s House was also featured in the 1965 movie The Loved One, as the home of Sir John Gielgud’s character, and in the 1957 horror film The Undead.   Supposedly, during its time on the Willat lot, the home also appeared in a quite a few 1920s silent films, as well.

The Witch’s House is simply a must see for all Beverly Hills tourists, especially during the Halloween season, and it is a beautiful example of Storybook style architecture. 

You can read more about the history of the Witch’s House and see some fabulous photos of it here.

Until next time, Happy Stalking!  🙂

Stalk It: The Witch’s House is located at 516 N. Waldren Drive, at the corner of Walden Drive and Carmelita Avenue, in Beverly Hills.

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Brenda and Dylan’s First Kiss

I think the new 90210  has been making me nostalgic for the original series, because lately I have found myself re-watching old episodes of the 90s show.   The other night, while watching one of my fave episodes from the first season, the episode where Brenda and Dylan first get together, I noticed a filming location that I had yet to stalk.  In the episode, entitled “Isn’t It Romantic”, Dylan has moved out of his suite at the BelAge Hotel and into what looks like a ritzy apartment building.  After a date at the former Fox Studio City Theatre, Dylan brings Brenda back to that apartment building only to find his father waiting for him inside – and, of course, drama ensues.   

        

While watching the episode, I happened to notice the word “L’Ermitage” spelled out on the side of the apartment building’s entrance (pictured in the above screen capture).

      

     

So I got to Googling and quickly discovered that there used to be a “members only” hotel called the L’Ermitage located in Bevelry Hills once upon a time.  Sadly, the L’Ermitage was purchased by the Raffles hotel chain in October of 2000 and was completely renovated, remodeled, and renamed.  The new hotel, called the Raffles L’Ermitage, does not look very much like Dylan’s former apartment building.  Even the front entrance of the hotel, which was the site of Brenda and Dylan’s dramatic first kiss, was gutted and changed.   But while the L’Ermitage does look very different than it did during the 90210  days, something about it is still vaguely reminiscent.  Especially familiar is the sidewalk in front of the hotel where Brenda runs after Dylan’s meltdown where he throws a potted plant on the ground.  Gotta love it!!  🙂  Standing there brought back such fond memories for me and I highly recommend stalking the L’Ermitage if you were at all a fan of Brenda and Dylan.  🙂 

The L’Ermitage is an absolutely beautiful place and I cannot wait to drag my boyfriend back there on a Friday or Saturday night to grab a drink in one of the hotel’s many bars.  The hotel’s rooftop terrace has been ranked one of the top three rooftop bars in the country.  The hotel’s Writer’s Bar, where the walls are decorated with screenplays and scripts, is also supposed to be a fabulous place to grab a drink.  The exclusive hotel is also a big time celeb hotspot – so if you visit be sure to keep your eyes peeled!  Julia Roberts, Georgio Armani, Michael Jackson, Elizabeth Taylor, Keira Knightley, Penelope Cruz, and Angelina Jolie have all stayed at the L’Ermitage in the past.  While stalking the L’Ermitage yesterday, I saw James Woods, who was hanging out in front of the hotel.  I absolutely LOVE me some James Woods and the TV show Shark, so I was floored to see him in person.  I would have asked him to take a pic with me, but he was busy talking on his cell phone and then his friend drove up, so I didn’t want to bother him.  I did snap a pic of him from far away, though.  He is in the above photo leaning against the Porsche.  SO COOL!  🙂

Until next time, Happy Stalking!  🙂

Stalk It:  Raffles L’Ermitage is located at 9291 Burton Way in Beverly Hills, not far from Rodeo Drive.

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Greystone Mansion

Greystone Mansion IWhile most mansions in Beverly Hills are well hidden from prying eyes thanks to tall gates and large trees, there is one that is open to the public on a regular basis and it’s called Greystone Mansion.  The 46,000 square foot mansion was commissioned in 1928 by millionaire Edward L. Doheny as a gift to his son Edward “Ned” Doheny, Jr.  Ned only lived in the home for four short months before he was found dead in his bedroom, along with his secretary Hugh Plunket, on February 16th, 1929.

There has been much speculation surrounding the deaths of Ned and Hugh – some believe it was a bizarre murder-suicide due to a lovers’ quarrel between the two, others believe Hugh asked Ned for a raise and became enraged when he was denied and subsequently shot Ned and then himself, and still others believe Hugh suffered from a psychological disorder and shot Edward during a mental breakdown.  Whatever the case may be, after his death Edward’s widow continued to live in the mansion with their five children for the next 26 years until she sold it to a man named Henry Crown.  Henry wanted to tear down the mansion, but the city of Beverly Hills stepped in and purchased Greystone from him in 1965, turning it into a public park several years later.

Greystone sits on over 16 acres and is an amazing piece of property.  I highly recommend stalking it.  Everyday from 10am to 5pm the public is given free reign to walk around the beautiful grounds and get an up close and personal view of the exterior of the mansion.  On occasion, there are times when one can tour the inside of the mansion as well.  Greystone has also been the filming location of hundreds upon hundreds of movie, TV, print, and commercial productions.  Just to name a few – it was featured in Entourage  as the location of Anna Faris’ photo shoot, it played Nicolas Cage’s home in National Treasure: Book of Secrets, it was the British Embassy and ball location in Jumpin’ Jack Flash  with Whoopi Goldberg, it played a restaurant in The Holiday, and it was featured each week as Rory Gilmore’s school in Gilmore Girls.  It also figures prominently in one of my favorite books The Prada Paradox  by Julie Kenner. 

While I was at Greystone this past weekend, a production crew was setting up for a film shoot (they wouldn’t say which film) and unfortunately much of the mansion was blocked off.  But a very nice security guard happened to let me in to walk around and my boyfriend snapped a pic as I stalked behind the film crew’s signs.  🙂

Until next time, Happy Stalking!

Stalk It: Greystone Mansion is located at 905 Loma Vista Drive in Beverly Hills.  It is open everyday from 10am to 5pm.  You can visit Greystone’s official website here

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Hanging out at Vincent Chase’s!

Entourage HouseThis weekend, while doing some cyber-stalking, I found the address of Vincent Chase’s house from the HBO show Entourage, which is quickly turning into me and my boyfriend’s new fave show.  So, on Saturday, I dragged my boyfriend to Beverly Hills to stalk the house that was used in the first two seasons of the show.  I didn’t think we would be able to see much of the house from the street, so I was completely floored to discover that the front of the home is almost completely visible from the front gate. 

You will immediately recognize the large driveway, the fountain and the front door of the house from the many different scenes filmed there of the Entourage  gang’s comings and goings.  The house is absolutely huge – much bigger than it appeared on screen.  According to Zillow it is over 10,000 square feet!  The home is located at the very end of a street way up in the Hills of Beverly and it’s not too hard to see why filmmakers chose to use this house as it would be easy to block off the street for filming without disturbing any of the neighbors or having to close down public roads. 

Until next time, Happy Stalking!  🙂

Stalk It:  Vincent’s house is located at 1200 La Collina Drive in Beverly Hills.  After stalking Vincent Chase, you can head on down to Rodeo Drive for some A-List shopping and dining.

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