Welcome to Spook Central’s special Ghostbusters 30th Anniversary Celebration. Today is the second event of the celebration and we have the first “Shot On Site” article since September of 2012 (and also the first written by someone other than Paul). Today it is a Ghostbusters II location I had found, however Paul provided the key screen cap to get the ball rolling. This one really came down to having the right information and screen caps to know you are in the right place. Another thing, using more than one online map provider helps.[teaserbreak]Late in movie, the guys are committed to Parkview Psychiatric Hospital. While we see plenty of them inside the hospital, the only time we see them outside is this shot of Winston putting on elbow pads, shown under his credit card at the end of he film.
As with all of the other credit card footage, that shot was from a scene that was deleted from the final film. In this case, it was a scene in which Louis’ cousin Sherman Tully (played by Eugene Levy) helped get the guys out of the hospital. Thankfully, we have a piece of stock footage that gives us a perfect look at the exterior where that scene took place:
But that shot didn’t tell us *where* the scene was filmed. The first piece of information that helped get us on our way was a screen cap Paul found on the iCarly Wiki of the “Troubled Waters Mental Hospital” (seen in the episode “iLost My Mind”), which had looked like the same building as Parkview – very similar brick color, windows, exterior building accents, and being three levels high. It seemed like we finally had a front side view of the building that we could search for. This was found on September 23, 2013. It would take another three and a half months to discover another lead.
On January 13, 2014 I was looking over video clips from the Sony stock footage site and I noticed that they updated the description of the clip “6142-039_HOSPITAL”. Added to the original description (as listed on the GB2 Stock Footage page) was: “ACTUAL LOCATION IS CAMPUS OF VA GREATER LOS ANGELES HEALTHCARE SYSTEM.” That sounds like a great lead, until you realize they have gotten these wrong before, and that there is an entire system of VA’s in Los Angeles. But I went to each one looking.
After looking at some other locations, I stopped in on the VA in West LA. I was using Google maps, which had not photographed much of the campus, when I discovered something that stopped me dead in my tracks. On Bringham Ave. I found this:
It looked an awful lot like the “Troubled Waters Mental Hospital”, though I knew it wasn’t. But it was the same build style. I could see from the overhead view that there were four buildings that seemed to be similar. Three of them are connected together, with the fourth one a street over. So I switched to Bing maps to see what they had. The first thing I found, which was dead on, is the location of shot for Parkview.
Comparing the Sony stock footage image with the Bing maps image, there is very little in the way of differences. In fact, it’s easier to note what is different than what is the same. Checking over all four buildings, Building 115 had that one-of-a-kind corner entrance. Interestingly, this location is the most far west of all the locations in California for either film. But the fun doesn’t end there.
The Ghostbusters II Electronic Press Kit features interviews with all of the main cast, each filmed at a different filming location (be it a set or on location). Rick Moranis’ interview was obviously filmed at the Parkview location, given his comment when asked about funny Canadians: “Eugene, who’s here for a day, is Canadian”. Obviously he’s talking about Eugene Levy, and the only scene Eugene filmed for the movie was as Sherman Tully outside Parkview. Also, the white buildings behind him looked like they might be in the same area as the white buildings seen in the background of the iCarly shot.
So, Paul and I also wanted the Rick interview spot located. The location turns out to be near, but not nearly as near, as we thought – it’s actually far north of the Parkview spot. So, if you so happen to be at corner of McArthur Ave. and Pershing Ave…. Head northeast on Pershing Ave. until you reach Bonsalle Ave., at which turn left and head northwest. Turn left onto Nimitz Ave., which is heading west. When the road turns north it becomes McArthur Ave., and then it meets at a tee. Turn left, which means you’re still on McArthur, and to the right is the building that is behind Rick.
The white building behind Rick (Building 258) appears to be pretty much the same as it was 25 years ago, though the tree behind him has lost some limbs. Things to note is the small building to the right of the tree behind Rick. It can clearly be seen in all three Bing images. The sidewalk can also be fully seen in the last Bing image. The four square building accent can also be seen. One more little detail to note is that Rick, most likely, was actually sitting next to Building 156 in the grass, as suggested in the last of the screen caps.
As for why Rick was interviewed so far away from the Parkview exterior spot, we have two theories: Either they filmed interiors in one of those nearby buildings, or the crew was using the nearby parking lot. We’d be more inclined to believe the former than the latter because there are closer parking lots they could have used. Now what about the crazy kids on iCarly?
It was a real struggle to ID this one as it turns out that the building in question (Building 116) doesn’t have a streetview in either Google or Bing maps. A Bing maps bird’s eye view is the only view of the front side of the building. While the sidewalk and a few aspects clearly match, it isn’t the best of ID’s and, yes, there are also three other buildings on the campus (114, 115, and 116) that share that building accent styling. So ultimately, more identifying needed to be done.
Looking over the background to the left of Building 116, Parking Lot 18 and Buildings 212 and 213 are seen (in reverse order). Next is the ID’ing of Building 212 and related items using the source image, a street view from Dewey Ave. and bird’s eye view. As should be noted, the extreme perspective angle of the iCarly shot, makes some of the building not show. However, the tall tree can be seen in all three views. Along with that, the roof of the middle building can be identified and the side of 212 can be seen in part. Next, showing the original photo once more, then it flipped, and then the parking lot. The tree in the picture clearly hasn’t changed much since the iCarly footage (which is definitely stock footage) was taken.
So, in conclusion, here is a overhead view and map of all three locations. The red spot is the Parkview exterior, the yellow spot is the Rick interview, and the blue spot is iCarly.
Credit goes to Devon Andersen at iCarly Wiki for uploading the Troubled Waters Mental Hospital screen cap that got this search off the ground. For more photos and the such, check out Spook Central’s Filming Locations page for this location.
For more information about Ghostbusters filming locations, be sure to check out the rest of Spook Central’s Shot On Site articles, Spook Central’s Filming Locations page, and Chris Stewart’s Shot On Site articles. Thanks Chris for letting me use your awesome title. Title graphic drawn by Paul Kinsella.