Got a challenge from Jenna a few weeks back to find a whole bunch of Charmed locations, one of which being the “San Francisco” city street featured in both the Season 7 episode “The Bare Witch Project” and the Season 8 episode “Still Charmed and Kicking”. In “The Bare With Project” (pictured above), the street is featured twice. In the opening scene of that episode, Phoebe and Piper are shown eating lunch at an outdoor corner cafe located on a public street. In the scene Piper is breastfeeding and is asked to leave by the restaurant manager. In the closing scene of that episode, Phoebe rides a horse naked – a la Lady Godiva – down the same street to protest against the restaurant for mistreating her sister.
In the “Still Charmed and Kicking” episode (pictured above), that same street shows up yet again as the spot where Phoebe and Piper do some serious shoe shopping after faking their own deaths.
Well, Jenna, I have good news and I have bad news. If you’re like me, you prefer the bad news first, so here goes. The bad news is that the street the sisters walked along is not a real street – it is actually part of the Paramount Studios backlot in Hollywood. While doing some online Charmed research to try to figure out where this street was located, I found out that after the sixth season of the series, production moved from its small Canoga Park studio to Hollywood mega-lot Paramount Studios. After carefully watching both episodes, something about the “street” didn’t seem realistic to me. If you look closely at both episodes, everything seems just a bit smaller than it should be – much like Wisteria Lane from Desperate Housewives. The streets are a bit too narrow, the sidewalks a bit too skinny, the buildings a little too short – all causing me to realize that a back lot, not a real city street, must have been used for the filming. If you look in the background of the above screen capture, a house or small apartment building (circled) is visible behind Alyssa Milano on the left hand side. That was a dead giveaway for me that the street was really a set, as residential street sets are commonly located right next to city street sets on most movie studio backlots. After I learned that both of the episodes were filmed during the time that Charmed was being produced on the Paramount lot, I became convinced that the street was in actuality just a set. I believe that for both of the episodes mentioned one of Paramount’s New York street scenes was used.
Now for the good news – even though this street is located on a set, you can still see it in person. 🙂 Paramount Studios offers a behind the scenes tour and one of the stops is the New York area of the back lot. While I have never been on the Paramount Tour, it is definitely something I want to do in the near future. Seeing Stars does a great write-up on the Paramount Tour, with some great photos and while he didn’t seem to like the tour much, this stalker still really wants to check it out. When I do go on the tour, I will be sure to post some photographs of the New York City streets for comparison. Sadly, though, I don’t think the streets will be that recognizable from Charmed due to the fact that studio street scenes and building facades are constantly changed and redressed to make way for new productions. That being said, I would still recommend stalking the Paramount Tour, as I think it would still be really fun to see.
And don’t worry, Jenna, I am still stalking the other Charmed locations you challenged me to find. 🙂
Until next time, Happy Stalking! 🙂
Stalk It: Paramount Studios is located at 5555 Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles. To book a tour, you can call (323)956-4848. Tours cost $39 per person.