A few days ago I sent Mike, from MovieShotsLA, a screen capture of the church featured in the pilot episode of Beverly Hills, 90210. I had a hunch he might know where it was located – and, sure enough, he did! He immediately called me and said “That’s the Spiderman church!” as it was also used in the filming of Spiderman 3. 🙂 God, he’s good! St. Brendan Church – or as Mike and I like to call it, the “pilot church” – was built in 1927 by Los Angeles area architect Emmett Martin.
In the pilot episode of 90210, Brenda, not wanting her new twenty-something boyfriend Jason to know that she is only sixteen years old and still living at home with her parents, lies and says that she is attending UCLA and living in a sorority house named Sigma Rho Tau. After their first date, Jason drops Brenda off in front of her fake sorority house, which just happens to be located next door to a church. That church is St. Brendan and that sorority house is not really a sorority house at all, but the church rectory. As you can see in the above screen captures, all the producers had to do was add a sign with the sorority’s name to the outside of the rectory and cover up the stained glass window with a bulletin board – and voila, they had themselves a sorority house!
While researching St. Brendan Church earlier today I remembered something very ironic from my past. I can’t even believe I’m admitting to this – in a public forum no less – but you only live once, so here goes! When I was in high school I receieved the Sacrament of Confirmation. At the time I was fifteen years old and deep in the throws of my 90210 obsession. So much so in fact, that I chose Brendan, after St. Brendan, as my confirmation name. In the Catholic faith, when ones receives the Sacrament of Confirmation, they are to adopt the name of a patron saint who is said to then guide and protect them. Confirmation candidates are supposed to study the history of the saints and find one that represents the type of Christian they want to become. But for me the choice was easy. Once I found out there was a saint named Brendan, that was it for me! Of course, the female version of the name Brendan is Brenda. 🙂 Yes, I was THAT obsessed. LOL Being that my mother wanted to kill me when she found out the saint name I chose, this little episode of my life has been a long running joke in my family. LOL So earlier today when I found out that St. Brendan was the name of the 90210 church, I just about fell out of my chair.
St. Brendan actually has quite a rich filming history. Besides the pilot episode of Beverly Hills, 90210, the church was also featured in Armageddon as the location of Ben Affleck and Liv Tyler’s wedding. You can watch the wedding scene here.
It was the location of Stephanie Seymor and Axl Rose’s wedding in the Guns N’ Roses music video for the song “November Rain”. On a side note – I must say that I absolutely LOVE Stephanie Seymour’s wedding dress from the video (pictured above). I am gonna have to get me one of those for my wedding! LOL As if!! 🙂 You can watch the “November Rain” music video here.
In the Season Four episode of CSI: Miami entitled “From the Grave”, my fave Horatio Caine confessed his sins at Saint Brendan. The church was also featured in the 1953 version of War of the Worlds (as the location where the residents of L.A. gather during the final scenes of the movie), Spiderman 3 (the interior is where Topher Grace prayed for God to kill Peter Parker), Fight Club (Edward Norton’s cancer support group was held there), and an episode of Unsolved Mysteries. You can see interior pics of the church on the Saint Brendan website.
Until next time, Happy Stalking! 🙂
Stalk It: The Beverly Hills, 90210 pilot church, aka St. Brendan, is located at 310 South Van Ness Avenue in the Hancock Park area of Los Angeles.