Leave it to Santa Monica – Beaver and Harold Lloyd

Skokie Illinois stands in for Mayfield

Skokie Illinois stands in for Mayfield

Although Leave it to Beaver takes place in “Mayfield,” set in an undetermined state, I show in a prior post how Skokie, Illinois stood in for Mayfield during a scene from “Beaver’s Fortune” (Season 3: Episode 10; first broadcast December 5, 1959).  While Beaver owns a surf board late in the series, and the gang makes trips to the beach, the show frequently distinguishes the Cleaver’s home state from California, often referred to as a faraway place.

By the 6th and final season, the producers seem to have gotten tired of playing coy.   When Wally and Ward take a test drive (“Wally Buys a Car; Season 6:, Episode 16, first broadcast January 10, 1963), they drive right down 3rd Street in Santa Monica, past the El Miro Theater to the right.  At left in the back stands the Clock Tower Building on Santa Monica Boulevard at 3rd.  The El Miro facade has been preserved as part of the multiplex theater standing there today.

ca

California cruisin’ – Ward and Wally heading south down 3rd Street in Santa Monica.   Clock Tower – Santa Monica Public Library – El Miro – Water and Power Associates

As the scene along 3rd Street ends, the north side of the Keller Building comes into view.  You can glimpse it to the left (yellow box) in each image below.

Looking north up 3rd Street from Broadway.  Absent in the 1927 view are the Clock Tower (left) built in 1929, and the El Miro tower (right) built in 1933.  The yellow box marks the transition from the historic Keller Building on the corner of Broadway and the two story building north of it.  Closed to street traffic today, the site is now known as the Third Street Promenade.  Santa Monica Public Library

Looking north up 3rd Street from Broadway. Absent in the 1927 view are the Clock Tower (left) built in 1929, and the El Miro tower (right) built in 1933. The yellow box marks the transition from the historic Keller Building on the corner of Broadway and the two-story building north of it. Closed to street traffic today, the site is now known as the Third Street Promenade.  Santa Monica Public Library

In another post, I show how Beaver and Harold Lloyd both filmed scenes at the Long Beach Pike amusement park forty years apart.  As shown below, they nearly crossed paths beside the Keller Building in Santa Monica as well.

ca

During Harold Lloyd’s 1924 feature comedy Hot Water, the family’s inaugural drive in Harold’s new car ends in disaster.  Their trouble begins when the car grid-locks the intersection at 3rd and Broadway in Santa Monica.  The Keller Building at back was built in 1893.  The yellow box matches the trio of images further above.

Thanks to movie editing, moments after Harold pushes the family car out of this intersection in low-lying Santa Monica (above), the car careens down Bunker Hill on Olive Street in downtown Los Angeles, a setting also appearing in the 1952 noir classic The Turning Point, as described in this post HERE.

If the Cleavers live in Santa Monica, then Ward must work in West Hollywood! During the episodes “Beaver on TV” (Season 6: Episode 22; first broadcast February 21, 1963), and “Lumpy’s Scholarship (Season 6: Episode 24; first broadcast, March 7, 1963) this establishing shot of Ward’s office was filmed at 9034 Sunset Boulevard.

ca

Although the flagstone detailing has been replaced with brick, and a shabby portico with columns has been added, the basic box-like design and proportions of Ward’s office remain unchanged.  (C) 2013 Google.

litb_maxim_houseIf you enjoy looking at studio backlots, the wonderful Retroweb site shows how the Cleaver’s home and neighborhood were part of the Colonial Street backlot at Universal Studios.  Beaver and Gilbert even walk past the Munster’s home in one episode!

Leave it to Beaver – (C) 1962, (C) 1963 Revue Studios.  HAROLD LLOYD images and the names of Mr. Lloyd’s films are all trademarks and/or service marks of Harold Lloyd Entertainment Inc. Images and movie frame images reproduced courtesy of The Harold Lloyd Trust and Harold Lloyd Entertainment Inc.

Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica, CA

About these ads
This entry was posted in Harold Lloyd, Hot Water, Leave It To Beaver, TV Shows and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Leave it to Santa Monica – Beaver and Harold Lloyd

  1. Chris Bungo says:

    Nice work as always John.

  2. Pingback: Chaplin – 100 Years Ago on Sunset Boulevard | Chaplin-Keaton-Lloyd film locations (and more)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s