With a free day in LA, I thought we’d take a little trip to see some Pasadena movie homes. With the center of the movie and television industry just 30 minutes away, Pasadena is filled with famous filming locations. Here are a few that we decided to see.
Being from West Virginia, I’ll always have a soft spot for country humor. I’m even known to slip into a Hee-Haw rabbit hole on YouTube every once in a while. Growing up, I loved to check in with the Harpers, the family from Mama’s Family. Syndication meant I could watch re-runs nightly, so I know this show well, even if most people probably don’t remember it.
This whole trip to Pasadena started because we had a “free” day on a trip to LA, and I knew a place my wife wasn’t expecting to see. As much as I like Mama’s Family, I simply do not know a bigger Mama’s Family fan than my wife. I can never seem to stump her when I ask her Mama’s Family trivia questions. She even used to dress up as a little girl like Thelma to entertain her great-grandmother. And now, here she is at the Mama’s Family filming location.
One of my favorite movies is Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure. I loved all things Pee-Wee as a kid, in fact, I still do. While I’d really prefer to visit Chairy, Conky, and the rest at the Playhouse, that’s just make-believe.
Next on our Pasadena movie homes tour, we visit this memorable spot at the corner of the property where Pee Wee and Francis first face-off.
Pee-wee: I wouldn’t sell my bike for all the money in the world. Not for a hundred million, trillion, billion dollars!
Francis: Then you’re crazy!
Pee-wee: I know you are but what am I?
If I owned this house, I’d paint it red and put all the silly things in the yard. But then again, Pasadena seems like a buttoned-up town. I’m sure they’d have an ordinance to reference to make me pick up my toys.
See the Pee Wee Herman House at 1848 Oxley Street in Pasadena.
The Steve Martin-led Father of the Bride and Father of the Bride II utilized two homes in the area. Both are easy to visit, and we’ve done just that on our self-guided Pasadena movie homes tour.
The one used for the exterior/frontal shots is located at 843 S El Molino Ave in Pasadena. This is the one you remember, and it looks almost exactly the same as the movie.
Luckily the Banks family bought the property back from the evil developer Mr. Habeeb (Eugene Levy) so we can still enjoy the home’s beauty today.
George Banks: Mr. Habeeb, please, You see this pathway? I laid these bricks with my own two hands, I planted this grass, I built this fence, I broke that window with a frisbee, I painted these shutters. Don’t bulldoze my memories man sell me back my home.
Mr. Habeeb: For how much?
The producers decided the Pasadena home backyard didn’t fit the vision for the movie. So, they found their perfect backyard at a home in nearby Alhambra. This is the home you see during the basketball scene with Annie and George and for all of the wedding reception.
There’s even a basketball hoop there in the backyard, but relax, it’s not the same hoop from the movie.
Visit this Father of the Bride house at 500 N Almansor St.
Located at 675 Arden Road in Pasadena, we’ve arrived at the Draper home from the AMC TV Series Mad Men. The home was also used in the movie Outbreak starring Rene Russo and Dustin Hoffman. The colonial-style residence is located right across the street from the Father of the Bride house.
LA Magazine reports that the Draper home’s door was painted from blue to red and back again each and every time filming took place on the premises.
Covered more thoroughly in my Doc Brown House Filming Location blog post, the homes of Back to the Future are also here in Pasadena. See Doc Brown’s house, which is actually two homes, along with Biff’s home and Marty’s mom’s house. You can even see the tree Marty and his dad George fell out of. An important plot point.
While you’re visiting these other Pasadena movie homes, fold in these nearby locations easily.
Most of these Pasadena movie homes are privately owned, so don’t think you can just waltz up the front yard for your photos. The hope is that you’ll take your photos from the sidewalk and not disturb the owners.
If you’re into visiting filming locations, check out a few of my other blog posts: