Located less than 30 miles from Hollywood, the South Bay has been the prime location choice for hundreds of movies and TV shows, not to mention countless commercials, over the years going back to the early 1900s! Our beautiful coastline and unique communities present so many opportunities for filmmakers to tell their stories, regardless of where the story is supposed to be set.
Filmmakers are drawn to our area’s scenic natural beauty as well as the industrial, working-port landscapes. Our gorgeous beaches can stand in for other coastal cities around the world (Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End). TV shows Dexter and CSI Miami, both set in Florida, are actually filmed right here in the South Bay.
Historic landmarks, like San Pedro’s Warner Grand Theatre, are great for period pieces (Mad Men). The San Pedro downtown area in general has a variety of interesting architecture that could be used for San Francisco or similar locales. The Port of Los Angeles docks and warehouses, Terminal Island, Point Fermin Park (500 Days of Summer), and the USS Iowa battleship are other popular filming spots.
Torrance High School alone has been the backdrop for more than a dozen movie and TV shows.
Almost daily I spot the telltale yellow & black production signs as I drive around town. Here’s a sampling of some of the productions filmed in and around the South Bay. Comment below to let me know if there are any movies or TV shows I missed!